The Swiss eMobility specialist Designwerk has presented an all-electric tractor unit with a battery capacity of 1,000 kilowatt-hours. This should also make long-distance and heavy transport possible – at least in some countries.
The high-voltage battery systems with NMC technology installed in the truck come from the Swiss company’s in-house battery production. Of the 1,000 kilowatt hours in installed gross capacity, 864 kWh are used in daily operation, the rest is not released to extend the battery life.
The buffer between gross and net capacity appears very large at 136 kWh, but this is a common order of magnitude for Designwerk batteries. With the company’s 680 kWh battery, for example, 578 kWh or 85 per cent is usable. With the new megawatt-hour battery, on the other hand, 86.4 per cent is usable, which is even a slight improvement.
With a fully loaded transport, the vehicle achieves a range of around 576 kilometres. Depending on the load and the route profile, this can become up to 640 kilometres. The company concludes from these figures that “long-distance and heavy transports are no longer reserved for diesel and hydrogen”. This battery-electric vehicle is designed for companies working in freight operations and long-distance logistics.
The battery can be charged with up to 350 kW DC. As with the 900 kWh model available so far, the large battery is not only installed between the axles but also behind the driver’s cab. Although this ensures a competitive range in the logistics sector, it also results in an excess length of one metre. In Germany, for example, such a vehicle would be eligible for registration. In Switzerland, Designwerk has a special permit from the Swiss Federal Roads Office (ASTRA), and in Nordic countries regulations are not restrictive in this sense. Not surprisingly then, Designwerk is mainly targeting customers from Switzerland and Scandinavia.
Designwerk offers the vehicle as a Mid and High Cab 6x2T. The first vehicles should be seen on the roads in Switzerland at the end of 2023. The truck is powered by a 500 kW electric drive system that uses a single-speed gearbox developed by Designwerk.
“Large capacity batteries make the energy efficiency of electric trucks even more apparent,” says Designwerk founder and executive board member Tobias Wülser. “In this case, our electric vehicle consumes 52 per cent less energy than a diesel vehicle.”
Designwerk was taken over by Volvo Group in 2021. The Volvo Group is the commercial vehicle group with trucks, buses, construction machinery and marine division, not the carmaker Volvo Cars, which belongs to Geely – although Geely also holds a minority stake in Volvo Group. Designwerk and Volvo Group have worked together for several years, with many Futuricum vehicles based on Volvo chassis.
Also today, we reported that Volvo Trucks is working on an HPC charging network for trucks in the USA at Pilot Company truck stops. Over in Europe, Volvo Group, Daimler Truck, and Traton are collaborating on the development and operation of a public high-performance charging network for battery-electric heavy-duty long-haul trucks and coaches across the EU.
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