Whether airport vehicle, truck or construction machinery – Webasto now offers the necessary assistance for companies that wish to convert their commercial vehicles from conventional combustion engines to electric power. The company’s Battery Services division supports its customers through the entire process of vehicle electrification and beyond. On the basis of the myriad customer projects already implemented, Webasto has split this process into three phases and these form the core of the growing service offering.
From initial idea to final acceptance
During the planning phase, Webasto first carries out a precise requirements analysis for the vehicle and then performs a comprehensive system simulation to define the technological framework for the respective electrification project. Factors such as battery configuration, environmental conditions and operating strategies are taken into consideration here. This gives customers a precise overview of the performance, consumption and range of their vehicle on a season-to-season basis. Moreover, Webasto is not only able to customize the required battery system to precisely meet the customer’s needs, but can also tailor the heating and cooling solutions for the battery and vehicle. “The electrification of combustion engine vehicles and realization of corresponding components is a complex process that our experts already begin to facilitate when the very first idea for a future electric vehicle is mooted,” explains Dr Michael Bauer, Vice President Product & Service Portfolio Management at Webasto. “Our focus lies on providing practical assistance and connecting to our cloud solutions in order to assist customers and boost confidence in electrification – this is where our extensive wealth of experience comes into play.”
Smooth service entry, comprehensive support
During the project phase, Webasto’s field application engineers provide on-site component integration support to ensure everything runs smoothly, the system functions faultlessly and the integrity of the vehicle body remains intact despite the modifications. This allows the supplier to remain especially flexible in terms of supporting the project and facilitating spontaneous component modifications. Fault detection and correction as well as software modifications are also offered – these can be quickly implemented together on site or over-the-air – i.e. via the Internet and remote maintenance. In the event of a malfunction, Webasto is able to react promptly even if a specialist is not present on site. However, Webasto’s service does not end once the vehicle has been approved for service entry. The company’s experts conduct training sessions on the technical product characteristics and share their knowledge in this way. This helps customers – primarily vehicle manufacturers and distributors – to further expand their own internal expertise. For this purpose, customer service and technical support staff are available around the clock.
Development of sustainable concepts
Webasto also provides customer support during the end-of-life phase. For a start, the average service life of the battery systems is 3,000 charging cycles. Webasto provides a quality promise through its extended product warranty of up to eight years, thereby offering customers additional protection. The battery system can be easily replaced once its service life is reached. When it comes to end-of-life batteries, Webasto offers the option of finding individual solutions and methods of secondary exploitation in cooperation with customers. To underpin its claim to sustainability, the company is also developing potential second-life future applications.
Furthermore, at the state-of-the-art battery production plant in Schierling, ecological responsibility and technological progress also come together, because the plant can produce up to 40,000 battery systems annually, using exclusively green electricity. In addition, Webasto has been operating its own photovoltaic system there since autumn 2021 with panels covering half the size of a football pitch. This enables the company to supply its battery production plant entirely with in-house-generated electricity.
“We are continuously developing our services in the battery segment and are always geared to the needs of our customers and market. At Webasto, we don’t simply consider ourselves to be a classic product supplier, but a long-term partner to our customers, who we support through the complete electrification of their fleets and beyond,” summarizes Kai Baunacher, Product Manager Service Batteries at Webasto.