News center
Extensive sales and production expertise

Oshkosh Corp. adds eJLTV patents; expects to spend $300M electrification

Jun 11, 2023

OSHKOSH - Oshkosh Corp. is no stranger to electrification.

Its ProPulse diesel-electric hybrid system has improved fuel economy and offered export power on several military vehicles the company makes for more than 20 years. And it was a dozen years ago that the company put a diesel-electric hybrid prototype military vehicle through its paces in the grueling Baja 1000 off-road race.

In the last three years, the company's subsidiaries have introduced electrified fire engines, scissor lifts, military vehicles, airport rescue vehicles and cement mixers to their respective markets. Oshkosh's subsidiary, McNeilus, also electrified refuse pickup operations on some of its trash trucks.

RELATED:As federal programs lay groundwork for electric vehicles, WisDOT is determining state's role

RELATED:Volatus Infrastructure wants to make electric aircrafts accessible to everyone. Here's how it could happen

And next year, Oshkosh will begin building thousands of battery-electric versions of the U.S. Postal Service's Next Generation Delivery Vehicle. USPS in July increased the mix of electric vehicles it plans to purchase to 50% of its 50,000-vehicle order.

Bryan Brandt, Oshkosh Corp. senior vice president and chief marketing officer, said the company plans to further power up research and development of electric vehicle technologies in the coming years.

"We are just getting started," Brandt said.

In written responses to The Northwestern's questions, Brandt said Oshkosh expects to spend about $300 million on electrification efforts across its vehicle platforms, calling it a core focus of technology development.

Besides electrification, Oshkosh also prioritizes technology investments in autonomous operations, active safety and smart/connected products.

"As an organization, we remain uniquely positioned to apply core capabilities and strengths across our end markets and into new markets," Brandt said. "The continued innovation and expansion of our intellectual property portfolio are key drivers in our accelerated growth strategy."

Intellectual property often refers to patents, trademarks, designs, copyrights and trade secrets. Oshkosh has more than 800 active patents that include more than 250 related to electrification alone.

And as it continues to introduce new vehicles and products, it secures more patents with potential uses across its defense, fire and emergency, access equipment and commercial vehicle segments.

Here's a look at several of the company's electric options:

Take the electric Joint Light Tactical Vehicle, or eJLTV, as an example.

Introduced in January, the electric-hybrid eJLTV can use its diesel motor, a "silent" mode that uses batteries and an integrated motor generator, and a hybrid mode where both engines work together to provide better acceleration and fuel economy. Oshkosh expects the eJLTV to improve fuel efficiency by 20%.

The company this summer received another five patents related to eJLTV innovations.

The newest patents increase the JLTV program's patented innovations to 115. More applications are pending.

"It is not unique to have multiple patents on a single product or product line to protect proprietary features and technologies," Brandt said. "In fact, it is quite common for Oshkosh to have multiple patents on a single vehicle or vehicle family."

The company isn't reinventing the wheeled vehicle with these patents. Rather, it secures patents for innovations like how the eJLTV's battery and inverter are integrated, the vehicle's range and its accessory drive approach.

"We are extremely proud to continue our industry leadership with the eJLTV," Brandt said.

Oshkosh Corp. subsidiary JLG, which manufactures mobile elevated work platforms including scissor and boom lifts, has offered a variety of hybrid and battery-powered models for more than 20 years.

JLG went a step further, though, introducing an all-electric scissor lift, the DaVinci, in March 2020. The DaVinci can rise 19 feet, but replaces hydraulics with electric actuators to reduce maintenance costs and messy leaks customers complained about. The lift's battery has a 10-year lifespan that matches the projected life of the scissor lift.

The electric improvements mean the DaVinci can handle 20% more weight than a typical scissor lift, moves twice as fast and charges more than three times faster.

Oshkosh Corp.'s fire and emergency segment, which includes Appleton-based Pierce Manufacturing and Oshkosh Airport Products, unveiled its Volterra electric pumper in Appleton in June 2021. The first Volterra electric pumper went into service that same month in Madison, making it the first electric fire truck in service in North America.

In the 15 months since being put into service, Madison's Volterra has responded to more than 1,500 emergency calls. It hasn't relied on its backup combustion engine once, Oshkosh Corp. said.

Oshkosh also has unveiled an electric version of the Striker, its airport rescue and fire fighting vehicle, called the Striker Volterra. The Striker Volterra can be a four- or six-wheel version of the vehicle, cuts fuel use by 40% and produces zero emissions when running on battery power.

Oshkosh's commercial products segment, which includes McNeilus Companies, produces refuse vehicles and concrete mixers.

In 2019, McNeilus unveiled a revamped S-Series front-discharge concrete mixer that included an electrified version that replaced the traditional diesel engine with a battery pack. The S-Series also improved operator visibility from the cab while its lighter overall gross weight enables it to carry a larger load, though how much more depends on the mixer's configuration.

McNeilus is a good example of how Oshkosh's research and development works alongside its electrification efforts. The company's concrete mixers offer operators onboard diagnostics and customized operating features like how fast the drum spins. In June 2021, McNeilus incorporated CartSeeker into one of its side-loader models.

CartSeeker uses artificial intelligence to identify curbside carts and automates the robotic lift arm that picks up the bin, currently done by a person using a joystick.

McNeilus in March bought CartSeeker from Eagle Vision Systems, Inc. and Waterloo Controls, Inc.

"We put a priority on bringing our customers innovations that advance their business, and this strategic investment in autonomy boosts our product capabilities and future offerings," said Jeff Koga, McNeilus' vice president and general manager for refuse vehicles, in a media release.

Contact Jeff Bollier at (920) 431-8387 or [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter at @JeffBollier.