Geely Farizon Homtruck: battery-swapping long-hauler—but is it real?
Geely, the Chinese company behind “Lynk & Co” (to be confused with Lincoln), has a Farizon (rhymes with Horizon and Verizon) Auto division making commercial trucks. The latest release, a full semi, can be purchased with swappable batteries, methanol power, or a range-extended electric drive.
Geely isn’t planning to scoop Cummins, Volvo, or Tesla: their new Homtruck won’t arrive until 2024. But their battery-swapping feature means that a company which arranges for charging stations along a route can have drivers pull in for a minutes-long battery refresh rather than a long recharge.
Engineers consulted with drivers and fleet operators before producing the Homtruck. That resulted, among other things, in a cockpit that has a driving space and a living area, with a built in shower, toilet, refrigerator, tea maker, kitchen, and miniature washing machine. 360° cameras help keep the driver aware of both human and driving dangers. Trim includes soft-touch fabrics and bamboo grain materials.
Hardware sensors include lidar, mm-wave radar, and ultrasonic radar, with V2X and 5G as well; firmware can be updated over the air. Convoying features are planned.
Geely currently owns Lotus Cars, Volvo Car Group, Proton Cars, and smart, as well as a mobility services group and Zeekr.
Chinese manufacturers had an early start in electric cars, aside from the wealthy-consumer segment dominated by Tesla. While Cummins and others have worked on battery-electric trucks, Geely appears to be ahead of the game—if they can build the truck to global standards and, in the United States, meet federal requirements. That also assumes we will see an actual truck: the images published by Geely appear to be renderings.
Clark Westfield grew up fixing up and driving past-their-prime American cars, including various GM and Mopar V8s. He has ghostwritten auto news for the last few years, and lives in Farmingdale, New York.