The electrification of heavy transport has been one of the issues with the greatest potential for reducing emissions but also operating costs for companies. Now, a consortium made up of the Swiss DPD, Futuricum, and the German Continental has set a record for the longest distance traveled by a 100% electric truck on a single charge.
The selected model has been a Volvo FH which has been retrofitted with a powerful electrical system. A 19-ton model that has 680 hp of power and a monumental 680 kWh battery. The largest installed on an electric truck has allowed them to travel a total of 1,099 kilometers in 23 hours.
For the record attempt, the electric truck was fitted with Continental EfficientPro tires, endowed with low rolling resistance. The test took place near Hannover on the Contidrom high-speed circuit, Continental’s in-house test track.
A 2.8-kilometer long oval test track where two pilots completed a total of 392 laps in shifts of 4.5 hours each at an average speed of 50 km / h, which is to replicate the real average speed of a model of these characteristics according to Futuricum.
The weather conditions were not ideal at the beginning of the test, with a thermometer reading 14 degrees outside temperature and tarmac of only 23 degrees. In addition, the wind was blowing at an average of 18 km / h with gusts of up to 40 km / h.
Of course, a circuit is not real life, with its ups, downs, accelerations, and braking … etc. But this test shows that electric mobility is achieving, from a technical point of view, sufficient autonomy quotas for the day-to-day where drivers do not have to travel such distances.
For example, this same prototype has been being tested in a freight distribution center near Basel for six months, where every day it had to travel 300 km. A task that it has fulfilled perfectly according to its owners who indicate that the real range in the mixed cycle would be around 760 kilometers.
A model that is available for purchase, and that even has variants with a higher capacity battery, reaching up to 900 kWh. Something that should raise its real autonomy to close to 1,000 kilometers.
This, as we say, allows us to break the myth that electric trucks are not suitable for large journeys. Something that as we see if it is possible, but were an important part is missing to give greater confidence to the operators and that the costs can go down with the economy of scale. We are talking about the charging infrastructure.
Something that is in a phase of improvement, but that suffers a level of deployment much slower even than that of electric cars. An aspect that may be the main brake on the electrification of heavy road transport, which will set an important precedent for reducing Europe’s energy dependence.