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Investigations continue after battery fire destroys electric truck

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Janus Electric says it’s conducting a full internal investigation into the battery fire that destroyed its prototype Kenworth T403 truck at its Berkeley Vale base on the NSW Central Coast last week.

The July 14 fire also superficially damaged the Janus Kenworth T610 Glider, but no injuries were sustained, and the fire was controlled by the Tuggerah Rural Fire Brigade.

“From our initial investigations, we suspect that the fire was a result of one of these engineering challenges that has since been engineered out of our current solution,” said Janus Electric general manager Lex Forsyth in an emailed statement.

“We are fortunate that the impact of the fire has caused minimal disruption in hitting our milestones as the Kenworth T403 was a first in kind never to be repeated prototype.”

The latest Janus conversions now use a more practical side-loading battery system.

The Kenworth T403 was the first prime mover to be converted to the revolutionary Janus interchangeable battery system 2.5 years ago.

But it used the original front-loading battery design and was due to be updated to the more practical side-load system at the end of August. New-design battery packs replace the diesel truck’s chassis-mounted side fuel tanks.

“The technology used has been incrementally developed and since its inception has progressed exponentially,” added Forsyth.

“Any issues encountered during construction of the prototype, have been engineered out and are not being utilised in our current conversions.”

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