The new era of electric trucks is becoming firmly established: At their joint outdoor booth (T 83) at IAA Transportation in Hanover (September 20-25), top 100 supplier Webasto, in cooperation with RWTH Aachen University, is providing exciting insights into a research project for Europe’s first prototype all-electric truck with a catenary current collector (pantograph).
Heavy trucks are responsible for a significant proportion of the transport sector’s current CO2 emissions. The primary objective of the project is therefore to develop multiple electric trucks in which the powertrains are selected on an application-specific basis, thereby delivering optimized economics. This forms the basis from which the experts at the “Production Engineering of E-Mobility Components” (PEM) Chair have developed the first electrified truck prototype fitted with pantographs.
The technology behind this is completely new, making it necessary to find advanced solutions. Webasto therefore supported the project not only with important individual components – the Standard Battery System and Vehicle Interface Gateway (VIG) – but also by providing technical consultation. The prototype has in the meantime already successfully completed its first outdoor tests, clearly indicating the huge potential offered by this project Since the required infrastructure can be implemented fairly quickly, current studies indicate that using catenary trucks can cut CO2 emissions by some 50 percent compared with conventional trucks by 2030.
“The goal is to further optimize the system and achieve a higher degree of maturity. We are aiming to reach a point where the modular drive train unit is not only fully developed but is also of real interest from a commercial perspective,” says Simon Dünnwald, Group Manager E-Mobility Production Engineering at PEM. Michael Bauer, Vice President Business Line Energy Management at Webasto, adds: “The transportation of goods and freight is a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions in the transport sector. This means that commercially viable electric alternatives are more important than ever. So we are naturally supporting this fantastic project and continuing to assist the responsible parties.”