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VIDEO: Merritt trucker harnesses TikTok to get his hybrid electric truck business in gear

Chase Barber had a lot of time to think about it behind the wheel of a logging truck.

He believes the big truck manufacturers are missing an opportunity and he plans to take advantage.

Barber believes that truckers can take an aging transport truck turning to electricity.

"Give them a second life by putting in an electric drive chain," he said.

"So it's going to be a diesel generator underneath that's going to go to a battery bank down the side and electric drive motors powering it forward."

And he's drummed up all the financial backing he needed by creating an engaging TikTok channel.

"Yeah," he said with a chuckle, "We did everything with TikTok."

But 700,000 followers is no joke.

@chacebarber Reply to @freddymaldonado29 Welcome to the start of Edison Motors: stealing Tesla’s ideas. #tesla #electricsemi #edisonmotors #truckers ♬ original sound - Chace Barber

He quickly gathered enough investment capital to launch Edison Motors and begin acquiring the materials he needs to build a working prototype.

The vision is an Edison Motors Kit, that people could buy to convert their old truck into a machine that can do all the work while consuming a lot less fuel with fewer breakdowns and an ever-present supply of electricity for other applications.

"You don't need to buy a new truck every time when there's nothing wrong with the bones of these trucks," he said.

He believes the major manufactures have made the mistake of considering hybrid power for long-haul trucks where the benefits are not as great.

He envisions huge fuel cost savings for logging trucks because they tend to be light going uphill and heavy coming down.

The regenerative braking system would charge the batteries when the trucks are loaded with logs.

"So you're essentially putting your power back in when you're loaded going down and you use that power to get back up."

Barber has worked installing solar power sources in remote communities, and he likes to restore classic trucks for fun, so his idea brings it all together.

"Why not combine those two and make a hybrid truck instead of a hybrid community?" he asked.

Barber wears his sense of humour on the front of his ballcap.

It reads: "Edison Motors, Stealing Tesla's Ideas."

So far, there has been no angry phone call from Elon Musk, but he knows there could be a fuss about it.

"I'm sure there's going to be a complaint coming at some point," he admits. And then comes the disclaimer.

"For legal reasons, this is a joke on Thomas Edison stealing Nicola Tesla's ideas, not Edison Motors stealing Tesla Motors ideas. That is a legal distinction," Barber said, laughing.

A minor scuffle with Tesla Motors might simply add some more energy to the TikTok channel as it nears a million followers.



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