Logistics firm Hellmann and trailer transmission maker BPW Bergische Achsen KG teamed up for a joint trial. BPW retrofitted a Mercedes Vario truck with their electric motor axle called eTransport. Hellmann will now integrate the van into their fleet for six months.
It is a field test designed to take the eTransport axle through the paces. Routes have been laid out to test different topographies as well as varying driving conditions in inner-city traffic. The converted van will be deployed the German towns of Osnabrück, Lehrte and Bielefeld.
The MB Vario test vehicle now features two axle-integrated asynchronous motors. Together they boast more than 150 kW. An 80 kWh lithium-ion battery allows for a range of 100 km with a usable load of 3 tonnes.
For Mathias Magnor, CEO Road & Rail, Hellmann Worldwide Logistics, the trial may precede larger efforts that may soon be necessary anyway. Says Magnor: “Based on the threat of diesel bans in inner-city areas and the increasing demand amongst customers for green logistics solutions, this field test gives us real data and experience regarding the use of new motor technology.”
Markus Schell, managing partner of BPW expects to “gain highly valued knowledge about various practical requirements” fron the trial with Hellmann. Knowledge that they will use “for further development before we start with series conversion of diesel vehicles,” Schell adds.
BPW had first presented their eTrabsport axle at the IAA in 2016. It is compact and positions the motor close to the wheel. Moreover, the eTransport solution can be integrated into existing vehicles and the firm is ready for a larger rollout. They have found a partner in Paul Nutzfahrzeuge and BPW has announced that the standard conversion of light to medium duty vehicles to electric transporters will begin by the end of the year.