Photo credits @ Daimler Trucks

Decarbonisation of long-distance truck transport: logistics companies launch practical tests

The logistics companies Gruber Logistics, Contargo and Remondis are taking part in practical tests to promote the decarbonisation of long-distance HGV transport in Europe. Different drive systems from various lorry manufacturers are being tested.

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The first two battery-electric eActros 600 from Mercedes-Benz are being trialled by the Dutch container logistics company Contargo and the German recycling specialist Remondis.

Contargo will be using its electric lorry for several months to transport containers between the port in Wörth am Rhein and various loading and unloading points. The vehicle will cover more than 800 kilometres per day.

Contargo plans to set up its charging infrastructure at its depot shortly. In addition, the logistics company says it is currently building the largest private charging network for heavy-duty e-trucks in Germany, with 90 charging points at 18 locations.

Remondis will use the test vehicle near Cologne as part of the “High-performance loading in long-distance lorry transport” (HoLa) project and primarily for the transport of recycled raw materials.

According to the lorry manufacturer, a fleet of around fifty prototypes is being built, some of which will be successfully handed over to customers with different applications for practical testing. Series production of the eActros 600 is scheduled to start at the end of 2024.

Gruber Logistics drives emission-free over the Brenner Pass

The South Tyrolean service provider Gruber Logistics is part of the EU project ZEFES (Zero Emissions flexible vehicle platform with modular powertrains serving the long-haul Freight Eco System). It has been collecting data for emission-free long-distance heavy goods transport with hydrogen fuel cells on a defined route from Verona over the Brenner Pass to southern Germany since the end of February.

40 partners from 14 different nations are working on the EU project “ZEFES” and carrying out various tests with battery electric vehicles (BEV) and electric vehicles with hydrogen fuel cells (Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles, FCEV).

The cooperation partners include the Fraunhofer Institute, which developed a device and an API for high-precision data collection in fractions of a second, RICARDO and TNO, which calculate the baseline from the collected data, and Scania. According to the logistics company, this makes it possible to record and analyse data with high precision and frequency using the device installed in the truck – i.e. in fractions of a second. The project is being funded with 40 million euros.

The ZEFES project has been running since January 2023 and is scheduled to end after three and a half years. The results of the project will then be used both to better assess the suitability of FCEVs in real-world operation and to promote the acceptance of zero-emission vehicles.

Although the project is still ongoing, it is already clear that for logistics companies, the use of modular vehicles will lead to both cost savings and the creation of new business cases.

According to the logistics company, it also intends to use the collected data in cooperation with Scania for the current and future real prototypes.