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E-mobility is on everyone’s lips – also in logistics. Although only a few electric vehicles are currently used in general cargo logistics and long-distance transport, e-trucks are becoming increasingly attractive, especially in cities struggling with air pollution. The iHub research project, that PTV Group’s research team is involved in, is investigating their use in urban traffic. The test phase has now started in Berlin with the first 12t e-truck officially presented to the public.
The project’s aim is to find out how to operate a mixed fleet of electric and conventionally fuelled trucks in a highly sustainable manner. For logistics companies it is important to be fast, punctual and reliable. So it seems to be a disadvantage that electric trucks need to be recharged. But how can transport companies ensure flexible planning?
“Together with our partners, we are working on an IT-supported system that allows for intelligent control. Dynamic route planning only assigns transport orders to an electric truck if the transport service can be executed as reliably as when using a diesel truck,” says Michael Schygulla, Manager Research Logistics at PTV Group.
The project partner DB Schenker in Berlin is now testing the new system with a mixed fleet that includes three electric trucks with a total weight of up to 18 tonnes. The local branch is the perfect location as it is close to the city centre, making it ideal for the use of electric trucks. PTV software calculates exactly which routes vehicles can use to avoid time-consuming recharging during the trip.
“We use the PTV E-Navigator, PTV Driver App and PTV Smartour via web interface,” explains Michael Schygulla. “During the test phase, vehicle- and trip-related data such as consumption, charge conditions and cycles are collected and analysed. This will allow us to evaluate transports in terms of cost-efficiency and profitability.”
The results of the test phase are then to be transferred to larger fleets. The aim is to show that electric trucks can be integrated into mixed fleets in a practical and economical manner.
Project management: Schenker Deutschland AG
Project partners: PTV Group, FRAMO GmbH, Fraunhofer IVI and Institut für Postfossile Logistik PFL
Project duration: January 2016 to the end of 2019
The project is funded under the “ICT for Electromobility III” programme of the German Federal Ministry of Economy. It is part of the “Digital Agenda 2014 to 2017” and also supports the research objectives described in the Electric Mobility Programme of the German government.
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This post is also available in: German