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VOLVO: SIX ELECTRIC TRUCK MODELS IN SERIES PRODUCTION
Volvo Trucks estimates that half of its total truck sales will be electric models by 2030. Currently, Volvo Trucks has six electric truck models in series production globally - Volvo FH, Volvo FM, Volvo FMX, Volvo FE, Volvo FL and Volvo VNR - covering a wide range of applications such as city distribution and refuse handling, regional transport and construction work. Manufacturing of the Volvo FL and FE Electric models for city distribution and refuse handling started in Europe in 2019, followed by the Volvo VNR Electric for North America in 2020, and the Volvo FH, FM and FMX Electric models in 2022.
The manufacturer will deliver 20 units of the Volvo FH electric truck to Amazon in Germany by the end of 2022. While the range of the Volvo FH is around 300 km, it is possible to cover up to 500 km during a normal workday with a top-up charge.
The Volvo VNR Electric, one of Volvo’s six all-electric heavy-duty truck models, is specially designed for the North American market. While the first generation of the class 8 VNR Electric had an operating range of up to 240 km, the enhanced version of the truck has an operational range of up to 440 km and increased energy storage of up to 565kwh. The improved performance is due to, among other things, improved battery design and a new six battery package option. The new VNR Electric also reduces the required charging time, as the 250kw charging capability provides an 80% charge in 90 minutes for the six-battery package, and 60 minutes for the four-battery version.
MAN: UP TO 1,000-KM RANGE IS ACHIEVABLE THIS DECADE
Since MAN Truck & Bus established the emobility Center in 2021, the manufacturer has rolled out 20 prototypes of the upcoming heavy-duty etruck, testing future mixed series production with conventional trucks under real-life conditions.
The MAN etruck is designed for heavyduty long-haul transport with daily ranges of between 600 and 800 kilometres. MAN Truck & Bus estimates that it’ll be possible to achieve a daily range of 1,000 km in the second half of this decade. The MAN heavy-duty etruck is scheduled to roll off the production line in Munich in early 2024.
SCANIA: TRAILER-TRACTOR AND RIGID TRUCK VARIANTS
Scania’s electrified trucks are available both as rigid and tractor-and-trailer combinations. Expected ranges vary with weight, configuration and topography, but a 40-tonne 4x2 tractor-and-trailer combination with six batteries can achieve up to 350 km between each charging, based on an average speed of 80 km/h on motorways. A 4x2 tractor will need an axle distance of 4,150 mm when carrying six batteries, thus benefiting from the increased vehicle dimension regulation in Europe. Gross train weights up to 64 tonnes,
as per the typical Nordic combination, can be covered for by 6x2 rigid models. The charging capability is up to 375 kw, which means that one hour of charging will add 270–300 km of range, as a rule of thumb.
NIKOLA: IVECO PARTNERSHIP BRINGS MODULAR PLATFORM TO MARKET
The Nikola Tre battery-electric truck is produced by the Nikola-iveco Europe joint venture in its dedicated manufacturing plant in Ulm, Germany. The partners have jointly designed a modular platform capable of hosting both fuel cell and battery propulsion technologies, starting with the European 4x2 Artic version of the Nikola Tre batter-electric heavy-duty truck.
The 4x2 Artic Nikola Tre is built on the Iveco S-way platform and features nine batteries with a total energy storage up to 738 kwh, which delivers a range of up to 530 km. An 80% charge takes an estimated 100 minutes at 350 kw. With 480 kw continuous power of the FPT Industrial e-axle, the truck has the power, torque and range to perform applications such as hub-to-hub deliveries and regional hauling.
QUANTRON: A WIDE RANGE OF VARIANTS
Quantron’s all-electric heavy-duty truck platform, the Quantron QHM BEV, is available as the QHM BEV 44-400 tractor unit as well as the QHM BEV 27-400 chassis in many variants. The high-voltage battery up to 392 kwh can be recharged to provide a performance of up to 350 kw DC and an operating range of up to 350 km depending on weight and topographical requirements.
Electrification takes place without changing the power take-off technology in the area of ‘engine-dependent power take-off’ or ‘gearboxdependent power take-off’. The position and installation space of the power take-offs and frame mountings remain the same.
EXTENDED RANGE WITH MORE BATTERIES AND ELECTRIFIED TRAILERS
It is apparent that more batteries mean longer range, which creates opportunities for long distance transports to also be electrified. Volvo Trucks has developed a new e-axle which allows more batteries on its electric trucks by integrating the electric motors and the transmission into the rear axle. Volvo Trucks will start serial production of trucks with the new e-axle in a few years from now and it will complement the current line-up of battery electric trucks.
Electrified trailers, too, can significantly increase the range of electric trucks. Start-up company Trailer Dynamics and Krone have developed an electrified trailer, named the
etrailer, which moves together with the tractor unit by means of its own electric drive.
The etrailer replaces one of the freewheeling axles with an electrified axle. This powerful electric axle of the etrailer supports the semitrailer tractor system along the entire route, in normal driving operation, when starting and when tackling inclines. The electric driveline helps recover energy (recuperation) during braking. If not all the electrical resources are needed for the above tasks, the electric drive of the etrailer permanently supports the diesel drive of the tractor unit over the entire route with the remaining energy. The sensor-based real-time control of the etrailer ensures transmission of the forces at the kingpin to the vehicle control unit (VCU) and thus safe control of the electric drive axle.
The combination of the etrailer and a diesel
vehicle transforms the entire tractor-trailer system into an electric plug-in hybrid, thus enabling the reduction of diesel consumption and CO2 emissions of long-haul trucks. The battery capacity of the etrailer is sufficient to cover distances up to 500 km with diesel tractor units. The range could be extended up to 800 km when combined with batteryelectric tractor units.
ICE AND ELECTRIC DRIVELINES ON THE SAME VEHICLE PLATFORM
ZF’S Cetrax 2 electric central drive is an integrated, modular e-drive system for heavyduty commercial vehicles. Leveraging inhouse developed components, the Cetrax 2
features two high performance oil-cooled e-motors as well as two integrated 800 Volt silicon carbide (SIC) inverters. The drive uses an advanced three-speed gearbox able to perform powershifts.
With all components integrated within a compact single unit, Cetrax 2 allows manufacturers to offer both conventional ICE and electric drivelines on the same vehicle platform. In addition to enabling the quicker electrification of existing vehicle platforms, it enables high power and torque, light weight design (approximately 385 kg) and enhanced e-drive efficiency of up to 96 percent. With continuous power of 360 kw and peak torque of 24,700 Nm for vehicles up to 44 tons, Cetrax 2’s electric central drive allows smooth gear changes due to its seamless powershifting. The gear changes are calculated by the integrated ECU and automatically executed by the e-actuators. Series production of Cetrax 2 is set to commence with a major global truck manufacturer in 2023.
A COLLABORATIVE AND DATA-DRIVEN APPROACH TO BUILDING CHARGING INFRASTRUCTURE
According to estimates by the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA), 10,000–15,000 high-capacity public charging points will be needed across
Europe by 2025 and 50,000 charging points by 2030 in order to enable comprehensive electrification of road goods transport.
ACEA studies point out that driving behaviour is unlikely to change as truck operators make the switch to electric vehicles. To demonstrate this trend, the ACEA and Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research ISI analysed the
GPS coordinates of around 400,000 trucks in operation throughout Europe over a period of 12 months, focusing on the duration of stops at individual locations. The analysis found that 10% of the locations most frequented by trucks in Europe (over 3,000) account for 50% (78,000) of total stops that trucks make. On the basis of this data, the ACEA is calling on national governments to ensure that the
top 10% truck stop locations within their countries are equipped with suitable electric chargers by 2027 at the latest.
The Traton Group, Daimler Truck, and Volvo Group have founded a joint venture which plans to install and operate at least 1,700 high-performance charge points for battery-powered heavy-duty trucks and coaches in Europe. The three parties are committing to invest €500 million, which is assumed to be by far the largest charging infrastructure investment in the European heavy-duty truck industry to date. The charging network will be open and accessible to all heavy commercial vehicles in Europe, regardless of brand.
Daimler Truck has entered into a strategic partnership with Siemens Smart Infrastructure, Engie and EVBOX Group to provide charging infrastructure for centralised depot charging of truck fleets.
Daimler Truck, Traton Group, MAN, Scania and Volvo are also part of the highperformance charging in long-distance truck transport (Hola) project, under the patronage of the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA).
The goal of the project is the planning, construction and operation of a selected high-performance charging infrastructure for battery-electric long-haul trucking. Two high-performance megawatt charging system (MCS) charging points will be set up at four locations in Germany and tested in real-world use.
To successfully convert a fleet from diesel to electric, it is necessary to perform a holistic analysis of the customer’s needs long before an electric truck is purchased. For this reason, MAN emobility Consulting, which MAN Truck & Bus presented for the first time at the IAA Transportation 2022 expo, includes advice on its upcoming electric truck as well as consideration of customer-specific deployment conditions such as operating phases, including cost optimisation, route analysis, fleet optimisation and, based on this, the necessary advice on the charging infrastructure. Digital tools such as the new MAN ereadycheck can support customers in checking how their delivery routes can be driven purely electrically. In addition, the MAN emanager allows fleet managers to always keep an eye on the important charging information of all trucks in the fleet.
For Daimler Truck, the core objective of developing battery-electric trucks for long-distance transport is to offer customers a holistic solution consisting of vehicle technology, consulting, charging infrastructure and services. Mercedes-benz Trucks will integrate the eactros Longhaul, like its currently available electric trucks, into a holistic ecosystem that includes consulting services for efficient vehicle use and optimization of total cost of ownership (TCO). For example, existing routes can be used to determine the most realistic and meaningful application profile of electric trucks for the respective customer in order to determine routes that can be driven with electric trucks. In addition to electrification of the depot, the planning, application modalities and implementation relating to the charging infrastructure as well as network connection will be included in the manufacturer’s e-mobility consulting services.