eTrailer wins ZENIT Innovation Award

eTrailer wins ZENIT Innovation Award | Cooperation between Trailer Dynamics and Krone awarded

18. January 2022

The Aachen-based company Trailer Dynamics, founded in 2018, and Krone want to make a significant contribution to "green logistics". To this end, they have developed an electric drive train for long-haul trucks. It reduces the CO2 emissions of diesel trucks and also provides a noticeable increase in the range of electric tractor units. The basis is the eTrailer, a powerful electric axle that works independently of the tractor unit. The tests with a first prototype confirm the high expectations of the innovative system. On 17 January 2022, Trailer Dynamics and Krone were awarded the Innovation Prize of the ZENIT e.V. network, which is endowed with 10,000 euros. The prize was presented by NRW Innovation Minister Prof. Dr. Andreas Pinkwart and ZENIT Network Chairman Thomas Eulenstein.

The environmental goals of the EU and the federal government are high. Compared to 1990, net greenhouse gas emissions are to be reduced by at least 55 percent by 2030. The most important target group for Trailer Dynamics in the first step is therefore in particular the existing fleet of diesel semitrailer systems. "We assume that these systems will continue to represent the predominant motorisation of long-distance freight transport for the next 20 to 30 years," predict the managing directors Michael Nimtsch, Abdullah Jaber and Jochen Mählmann. Since solutions for reducing pollutants already exist for trucks that mainly travel short distances, the focus of Trailer Dynamics is on diesel trucks that cover more than 500 kilometres during their journeys. The aim is to reduce their fuel consumption by more than 20 percent and thus save at least 20 tonnes of CO2 per articulated truck per year. Assuming a market share of eTrailers of 10 percent, this would lead to an annual emission reduction of more than one million tonnes of CO2 in Germany.

It is not only the environment that should benefit from the eTrailer, but also the logistics companies. Thanks to the additional eAxle power, the tractor unit is supported in the drive and can also be easily dimensioned smaller, thus reducing the running operating costs or TCO. The system can be combined with all common tractor units.

The system's operating principle is complex: The electric axle replaces one of the trailer's conventional, non-driven axles. A sensory kingpin also enables functionally independent real-time control of the electric driveline with the tractor unit. In combination of the eTrailer with the diesel vehicle, this transforms the entire tractor-trailer system into an electric plug-in hybrid.

Cooperation with Krone
The strategic cooperation with the trailer manufacturer Krone from Werlte in Lower Saxony ensures competent industrialisation, a qualitative and fast market launch and a professional after-sales service in the ongoing process. The constant exchange of experience in the context of further development, efficiency increase, design, weight reduction and compliance with minimum quantities is an essential building block for the Trailer Dynamics team on the way to pre-series.

Caption: Michael Nimtsch, Managing Director of Trailer Dynamics received the Innovation Award from the hands of NRW Innovation Minister Prof. Dr. Andreas Pinkwart and the Chairman of the ZENIT e.V. network Thomas Eulenstein / Photo: ZENIT e.V.

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