When Joe Killeen wanted to prove an all-electric truck could make it on the tough streets of Manhattan, Brooklyn, the Bronx and Queens, he turned to Norton and Trixie.
“They’ve been working every day since March 20,” said Killeen, president of New Deal Logistics in South Kearney, N.J. The pair of electric trucks, named for the characters played by Art Carney and Joyce Randolph in the 1950s TV show “The Honeymooners,” are making deliveries throughout New York City’s five boroughs, Killeen said.
His honeymoon with the trucks isn’t over yet, although he’s found some room for improvement. “They’ve actually performed better than my expectations,” said Killeen, who has worked in trucking in New York since the 1960s. The Smith Electric Vehicle trucks are supposed to get about 100 miles per battery charge, but NDL’s pair have logged more than 100 miles in a day and still retained 20 percent of the charge, he said.
“It depends on the driver,” Killeen said. “Some guys constantly hit 20 percent. Others need a little bit of training, and then they get there.”
The trucks are powered by a lithium-ion iron phosphate battery that takes about six to eight hours to fully recharge. It also features regenerative braking, which helps recharge the battery during operation.
The trucks are a little light on the payload side, Killeen said. “They’re spec’ed for 10,500 pounds, but at 6,000 to 7,000 pounds they begin to draw more (energy).”
Potholes pose another problem. “The battery pack is low on the chassis,” Killeen said. “We put a bracket underneath it” to protect it. “You’ve got to do something, because if you hit a pothole, you’re going to have an issue.” NDL took photos to point this out to the manufacturer. “We’ve also photographed it going over speed bumps,” he said.