Watch: Kenworth's chief engineer on new TX-18 transmission and all-electric trucks

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Updated Sep 19, 2022
Kenworth K270E
Kenworth K270E at the Paccar Technical Center in Mount Vernon, Washington
Commercial Carrier Journal


From new transmissions to all-electric trucks, there’s a lot going on at Kenworth when it comes to increasing efficiency and cutting emissions.

CCJ Senior Editor Tom Quimby interviewed Kenworth Chief Engineer Joe Adams to learn more about the company's new TX-18 and TX-18 Pro automated transmissions as well as their all-electric T680E, K270E and K370E. In this video, Tom drives the W990 spec’d with the TX-18 and MX-13 engine at the Paccar Technical Center in Mount Vernon, Washington. 

[Related: Test drive in Kenworth's W990 with the new TX-18 automated transmission]

The TX-18 and TX-18 Pro are now available for order with the Kenworth T680, T880 and W990 spec'd with a MX-13 or MX-11 engine. The TX-18 and TX-18 Pro support up to 510 horsepower, 1,850 lb.-ft. of torque and 140,000 pounds of GCVW.

[Related: Test drive in Kenworth's all-electric T680E]

The T680E, K270E and K370E are also available for order. In the video above, Adams explains how Kenworth can help fleets with planning including charging infrastructure and grant writing. 

Contents of this video

00:00 - Intro

00:12 - TX-18 Transmission

01:36 - Zero Emissions Trucks

03:22 - EV Incentive Programs

Video transcript

Joe Adams
Hi, I'm Joe Adams, chief engineer for Kenworth Truck Company. Kenworth is launching the TX-18 Paccar transmission later this year. The TX-18 is going to be great for vocational applications and heavy haul applications for our customers that are in those markets. It's got great drivability, smooth shifting and it does a lot for customers in those markets.

Tom Quimby
All right…so transmission…this is the standard TX-18 in the W990. It's a little bit hotter at 166 (Fahrenheit). Not an awful lot, but so smooth though going around the track. Okay. No doubt. So somebody's entering into the field for the first time this is a really just easy truck to get adjusted to. They've done really good work with this.

Joe Adams
So we have the TX-18 standard and the TX-18 Pro. With the pro model, we get additional gears for reverse for those customers that are in those highway style vocational applications and they need a lot of maneuvering and reverse. Those six reverse gears, help them do all the things they need to do perfect for an 18 speed automated transmission in their market.

Tom Quimby
Okay. So we actually are in the 18th gear. It is so smooth I didn't even hardly feel the shifting take place. Very smooth.

Joe Adams
Kenworth has launched our zero emissions trucks. So we got the T680E, the K270E and the K370E. They're in production today. The importance of zero emissions vehicles is the sustainability goals that our customers have, the drive to carbon neutral. Then also the need for many of our customers, our freight customers, to deliver to their customers products and zero emissions vehicles.

So when you're running a zero emissions vehicle, you're not consuming diesel fuel. Diesel fuel, especially in this most recent year, has been a very volatile and when you're running a zero emissions vehicle, you're buying electricity, more stable price. Certainly on the maintenance side, you don't have a lot of internal combustion moving parts inside the technology. We've done a lot of work on validation to make certain that our products perform very well. So we're seeing up to 30% lower maintenance cost with customers that are running their zero emissions trucks.

So we're not just bringing zero emissions trucks to our customers. We have the ability to have site surveys, infrastructure estimates all done so when you purchase a truck and you come in and you're ready to have chargers on site with Schneider and InnoTech solutions, we've got the capability for them to come in as partners of Paccar and Kenworth and set up all the different equipment that you need for charging onsite at your facility, whether that's a small set of low power chargers, fast chargers or even taking it to the point you want a microgrid where you're making your own energy. Where solar panels, wind, or other things, they have the capability of really partnering with you and helping to provide that whole package.

So Kenworth, we have a dedicated grant writer on our sales team that gets involved in many of our deals and helps to find local, regional federal types of grants. So that if you're interested in buying a truck today from Kenworth, we sit down, we spend time with you and our grant writer. We look at where you're going to operate the vehicle and look for those incentives to help lower your initial investment. As well as there are incentives out there for putting in the infrastructure. So there's opportunities on both infrastructure and initial truck acquisition and our grant writer helps to find those solutions. Help submit the paperwork so that our customers can maximize the value and get in zero emissions vehicles as soon as possible.