This T-Rex Has Electric Muscle
By Sam Smith
The universe of available electric vehicles (EV) continues to expand. A growing group of bright engineers are applying electric drive in many innovative and interesting ways. EV World & Associates had the opportunity to view and drive one of the latest entries into the EV marketplace – the T-REX 4x4 All Terrain Vehicle built by Bremach USA in Chino, California. This vehicle is not only impressive in its size and appearance, but it offers many unique performance characteristics.
I traveled with my colleague, Craig Shields (also a contributing editor to EV World) to Bremach’s facility in Chino, California, where we met with Ray Hoogenrad, CEO and Ben Montgomery, head of Business Development. The facility was typical of a dynamic development company with a wide variety of projects at various stages of assembly. Bremach is developing several versions of their all terrain vehicle to include conventional gasoline drive, a natural gas system (in collaboration with Landi Renzo USA in Torrance, California), a series-hybrid drive and the all electric drive.
The T-REX platform is designed to be a rugged, four-wheel drive, off road utility vehicle.
The vehicle speaks of ruggedness from the first time you see it. Think of it as a HumVee on steroids. It is a climb to get into the cab but it offers an excellent view for the driver and passenger(s). The cab interior is functional and offers a wide range of performance displays and communications/navigation capabilities on a very readable dashboard screen. I was impressed with the low noise level (not common in large utility vehicles) and the ease of maneuverability. We were in a fairly tight space in a garage and had no problem exiting quickly. Characteristic of electric vehicles it accelerated quickly to traffic speed and had no problems merging with rush hour traffic. The vehicle offers a significant level of terrain clearance and an amazing ability to climb very steep terrain as shown in Figure 2.
What is really unique about the T-REX EV is its drive train and battery pack. Without disclosing proprietary information, the developers and engineers at Bremach USA have developed a robust (three drive motors), low voltage (~110 volt) drive train that is rugged and efficient, but offers 200kW of motor power (150kW continuous) with only nominal efficiency loss. All the components (including the controller) were designed in house and assembled in their Chino facility. The design is sophisticated yet relatively easy to replicate. Even the truck frame was designed in house as opposed to being modified from another vehicle.
Craig Shields observed after riding in the vehicle that “Wow, this is terrific stuff. It is super-sturdy, offers great performance in a ruggedized package at a reasonable price. But for once, what may be most extra-ordinary about it is that it offers both sizzle and steak. When you think about it, it’s the antimatter of the EV stereotype, i.e., the supersized golf-cart that only a tree-hugger could love.”
According to Ray Hoogenrad, CEO of Bremach the vehicle is “Production Ready” and Bremach is in the process of developing a sales/marketing campaign as well as exploring other partnership opportunities. A visit to their website (www.bremachusa.com) will show that the range of applications is broad can meet numerous near-term needs. The US Military has expressed some interest in the vehicle capabilities based on a number of parameters (including its best-in-class 3TON+ payload and severe-duty 4x4 capability). If you are looking for rugged, off-road performance, then the Bremach USA T-REX is worth investigating.
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