Octillion Power Systems, a California-based provider of advanced lithium-ion batteries, said it has been selected as the official battery supplier to Brazilian manufacturer FNM for its new line of electric trucks.
After supplying FNM with prototypes, the two companies announced that Octillion will open a local battery factory inside FNM’s facility to lower manufacturing and logistics costs. The collaboration will produce the FNM model 832, a Class 6 truck with up to 14-ton capacity, and the FNM model 833, a Class 8 truck with an 18-ton capacity, with other buses and tractors as the next step.
“We believe these trucks will boost the electric truck market and help Brazil, especially during the pandemic,” said Paul Beach, president, Octillion Power Systems. “FNM has an incredible history, and the company and its vehicles are essential to Brazil, its people, and the green economy. With the help of our advanced battery technology, FNM will be able to successfully launch its new platform and advance the commercial truck market in Brazil.”
Octillion and FNM are working together to create sustainable electric trucks with favorable total cost of ownership for real economically feasible and sustainable fleets, Beach said. The Octillion battery at FNM trucks supports a range up to 300 km for urban deliveries, with a cold-water chiller battery refrigeration system.
FNM’s headquarters is in Rio de Janeiro. Brothers and investors Zeca and Alberto Martins are partners in the holding company that owns FNM and opened the company’s new factory in Caxias do Sul city. They are sons of José Antonio Fernandes Martins, who was an executive and shareholder of Marcopolo for 53 years, the world’s second-largest motorcoach builder.
“The truck manufacturers that operate in Brazil are ‘locked in’ to diesel,” said Zeca Martins. “FNM thinks differently, with a real ambition for electric vehicles, breaking barriers, changing the rules, and delivering clean, safe, silent connected logistics, signifying our client’s real green economy. We do not operate with dealerships, our business model is based on pre-sales contracts B2B, with trucks or buses produced under BTO (Build To Order) and with an “open spreadsheet”, which reveals all of our costs and profit margins to our clients. The FNM company is anything but normal.”
FNM was founded in 1942 and was among the first truck manufacturers in Brazil. The company was privatized in 1968 by the military government, and later bought by Fiat, which closed the factory in 1988.
“The relaunch of iconic FNM trucks not only strengthens the electric truck market in Latin America but renews a cultural and historical past with a promising future,” Alberto Martins said. “Octillion’s batteries are state-of-the-art and will propel our electric trucks to the front of the EV market in Latin America. They’ll manufacture the batteries in Brazil, and we already have an initial order from a customer for 7000 trucks, with more orders pending.”
FNM said its trucks will use niobium in various components – such as the chassis, brakes, suspension, wheels, and certain other parts and structural elements –which is intended to reduce the vehicle’s weight and increase its strength, performance, and range. FNM says its trucks telematics systems will connect to customer’s information technology systems as well as to the factory to provide real-time efficiency and safety data.
“The new FNM is a real ‘smart truck,’” said Marco Aurélio Rozo, director of information technology for FNM. “The vehicle uses state-of-the-art technology, with a tablet that is connected to the operational IT center and to the companies’ logistics systems, enabling monitoring and innovative video-telematic solutions, including anti-collision cameras with artificial intelligence, lane-change indicators, alerts regarding other vehicles and distracted drivers or those running red lights, an accelerometer, warning of the minimum distance from other vehicles in traffic and of collision risks, virtual bumpers, a high-resolution screen at the rear that could transmit images captured by the front camera or advertisements, recognition of traffic lights, warning of any risk of collision with motorbikes and bicycles and four cameras – two on the sides, one on the front and one on the rear. All transmitting in real time to the operator’s management center and also to the ‘FNM cloud’… And with everything prepared for converting easily to an ‘autonomous truck.’”