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HometempHow BMW is reducing its diesel truck CO2 emissions by 50% Unveiled:...

How BMW is reducing its diesel truck CO2 emissions by 50% Unveiled: Uncover Auto Excellence at Autoxyon

On this charming article, we delve into How BMW is reducing its diesel truck CO2 emissions by 50%, a masterpiece crafted by David Ruddock and revealed on 2023-11-03 12:56:05. Discover the world of Auto Excellence and uncover what units Autoxyon aside.

How do you make a long-haul diesel truck emit 50% much less CO2 with out altering a single factor about it? Appears like a riddle, proper? A brand new pilot resolution embraced by BMW Group Logistik and equipped by associate agency Trailer Dynamics right here in Germany, although, can just do that. I spoke with Mo Koellner from BMW and Michael Nimtsch from Trailer Dynamics about this tech on a name earlier within the week.

As to the reply to the above riddle: This can be a semi-truck trailer that has a large battery pack (as much as 600 kWh) put in in its flooring, and that battery powers an electrically pushed axle beneath the trailer. The answer isn’t conceptually novel; e-trailers, or electrified trailers, have been available on the market in numerous kinds for a lot of years now (although the know-how continues to be in a relative stage of infancy). The essential precept is straightforward, too. By including a battery-electric pushed energy supply to a diesel tractor-trailer, you cut back the gas consumption of the diesel portion of the system. In different phrases, you’ve created a plug-in hybrid-electric huge rig. Fairly easy, yeah?

What makes Trailer Dynamics’ resolution cool is simply how “plug and play” it’s. In truth, the corporate says that its electrical trailers can work with any truck they’re bodily able to hitching to. No trailer-to-truck connection is utilized; the e-trailer operates completely independently. Trailer Dynamics says this makes its product distinctive* within the area, as most different e-trailer options require energetic communication with the related truck to allow the electric-assisted drive. BMW is at present testing TD’s resolution on its BMW Group Logistik fleet. (*US-based Vary Power additionally claims to work with mainly any truck, and their resolution appears fairly just like Trailer Dynamics. We lined them again in Might. The largest distinction I’ve seen is that Trailer Dynamics affords far bigger batteries and is designed to be used with European tractor-trailer configurations. BMW’s gas consumption figures additionally appear to point TD’s resolution could also be extra environment friendly, however it’s onerous to understand how apples-to-apples these numbers are given the pack measurement variations.)

The way in which TD achieves that is right down to a proprietary sensor pack that lives within the kingpin of the trailer. There, a pc management mannequin takes enter from the sensors (used to watch numerous forces on the kingpin) and converts that knowledge into a choice about when and the way a lot energy to use to the electrical motors within the axle. The logic of the system takes under consideration the form of belongings you’d count on. For instance, if the trailer is aware of the truck is at present stopped and is starting a begin — when massive vehicles have a tendency to utilize their gas most inefficiently — it’ll apply very substantial energy to get the truck rolling. The consequence is a big discount within the quantity of diesel used. Equally, if the system detects the truck goes uphill, electrical help might be utilized generously to reduce the results of an in any other case high-fuel consumption scenario. In response to TD’s web site, elements like climate situations, route topography, and visitors will also be thought-about, although it was much less clear to me how these play in to when the trailer applies energy. The system will also be configured to disable itself if the battery capability reaches a predefined cutoff level (essential, as fleet operators ideally desire a minimal degree of cost assured at any second).

The system itself is, by the requirements of passenger Electrical Autos, some very heavy-duty stuff. Battery packs of both 400 kWh or 600 kWh are employed (a 200 kWh unit is coming later), with the 600 kWh configuration being probably the most fascinating amongst TD’s potential prospects. That’s as a result of the economics of effectivity apparently repay greatest for longer routes, the place a bigger battery goes to be vital. The electrical motor unit outputs as much as 580 kW (777 hp), which is spectacular, however it’s the insane 13,000 nm of torque that’s doing the heavy lifting (actually). Charging can also be fairly rattling fast, with the 800V structure supporting 44 kW AC and as much as 350 kW DC quick charging. The supersized figures right here make sense when you think about the weights at play — BMW is testing TD’s trailers with a payload of 16 metric tonnes, or over 35,000 kilos. (Particularly, BMW has been utilizing them to haul electrical drive models for its passenger Vehicles.)

As for the tip effectivity, BMW is seeing gas consumption lowered by almost 50% on among the long-haul routes it’s testing, which means emissions on these routes are lower in half. Even on shorter routes, the determine is in extra of 45% gas financial savings. As a result of BMW is utilizing 100% carbon-neutral sources to recharge the trailer batteries, it estimates that every e-trailer may lower as much as 120 tonnes of CO2 emissions from its fleet annually. For comparability, assuming a “typical” ICE automobile emits round 5 tonnes of CO2 yearly, every trailer optimally utilized is like taking 60 Vehicles off the highway. All that’s to say: It’s onerous to overstate how a lot gas an actual huge truck makes use of.

BMW has additionally been testing TD’s trailers with electrical vehicles, the place the system successfully acts as a variety extender. Relying on the precise truck, payload, and route, BMW says the vary of an electrical truck might be prolonged by an element of 2-3x, opening up fully new eventualities for the usage of BEV tractor models. In a single check, BMW used an unspecified Volvo e-truck together with a TD mega trailer to go over 600 km (373 miles) with out recharging.

In an ideal world, diesel vehicles would get replaced with electrical ones wholesale. However in actuality, the design precept of vehicles as long-life property implies that ICE trucking will stick round a good bit longer than combustion passenger Vehicles. If we will attain some extent the place e-trailer programs like Trailer Dynamics’ are minimizing trucking gas consumption at scale, although, we will nonetheless have an actual net-positive affect on emissions whereas that transition happens. And since this sort of system advantages each ICE and EV tractors (arguably, the latter much more so), this can be a situation the place the hybrid step-transition makes way more sense. There’s nothing redundant being engineered right here for the sake of ICE vehicles; these trailers will retain their usefulness within the age of BEV trucking.

For BMW, the EV trucking aspect of the equation has an added bonus — the low-liner “mega trailer” configuration it makes use of for a considerable amount of its transport fleet tremendously limits the vary of accessible EV truck choices. Utilizing TD’s mega trailer resolution as a variety extender is thus a wonderful method to work round that problem. (Mega trailers are a high-capacity trailer class particularly developed to be used within the EU, the place they continue to be extraordinarily common. These space-maximized trailers require a selected class of truck chassis with a really low deck flooring for towing, and that leaves little or no room for a battery.)

As for the challenges of stuffing a large battery within the backside of an already super-heavy-laden trailer? They’re not nonexistent. In response to BMW, TD’s options are greatest for delivery in “cubed out” configurations — that’s, using the utmost quantity of a container, not its most weight. And certain, the battery cannibalizes among the out there area for cargo. However, over time and with the evolution and refinement of the system (weight discount is one among TD’s rapid objectives), higher and higher payloads will turn out to be possible. Human habits is one other huge issue to think about. Suppose a tractor operator continues to be driving like a leadfoot. In that case, it’s potential to mitigate a good bit of the system’s gas financial savings (BMW noticed gas consumption variability of as much as 20% throughout testing based mostly on driver). On the economics, BMW believes that e-trailers will considerably decrease fleet working prices, offsetting initially increased acquisition prices for the tools.

Down the highway, TD suggests it may additionally begin utilizing its tech to help within the on-road security of tractor-trailers, making use of energy or engine braking drive for stability administration (for instance, if a truck is in peril of jackknifing). Proper now, the corporate is simply getting began, and at present has seven trailers in operation (an eighth was simply delivered).

Whereas cleansing up our passenger Vehicles can have an actual impact on world CO2 emissions, the affect of trucking transport is one thing we must always all be contemplating, too. In response to knowledge from the IEA, highway freight accounts for 30% of all world transportation emissions, making it the second-largest contributor behind passenger Autos — and by a large margin. (For comparability, all air and sea transit contributes simply above 10% of world emissions every. Rail sits at a measly 1%.)

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