Green innovation in surface transport: Using eTrailers as a game changer for decarbonizing long hauls
DB Schenker signs cooperation agreement for eTrailers from Trailer Dynamics • Use of eTrailers significantly reduces CO2 emissions - Pre-order of 2,000 units • Use in European land transport to start in 2024
DB Schenker is continuing to drive the green transformation in land transport and is consistently focusing on sustainable innovations. This week, the logistics service provider signed a cooperation agreement with Trailer Dynamics and the Krone Commercial Vehicle Group on the use of eTrailers in European land transport.
“This agreement marks a further step in the electrification of land transport,” says Cyrille Bonjean Executive Vice President Land Transport for DB Schenker in Europe. “It is essential for us to look for new sustainable solutions that can be integrated into our daily business. With the eTrailer from Trailer Dynamics, we have obtained another promising model for the future.”
Wolfgang Janda, Executive Vice President, Head of Network & Linehaul Management, DB Schenker, adds: “The use of eTrailers enables early entry into the phased transition to a completely CO2-free fleet. In our view, electric trailers do not represent a transitional technology but will instead be a firm component of our commercial vehicle fleet over the long term. This marks yet another step in our efforts to reduce our environmental footprint and become net-zero by 2040.”
Michael Nimtsch, Managing Director at Trailer Dynamics says: “The vision of Trailer Dynamics is to use eTrailers to make an important contribution to the decarbonization of the economy and sustainable and environmentally friendly logistics for long-haul trucks. With our cooperation partner DB Schenker, we are taking the next important step toward transforming this vision into reality.”
“Electrification, digitalization, automation, and decarbonization are the strategic goals that Krone will achieve with its innovative products – and especially the eTrailer. We are therefore very pleased that we not only share these goals with our long-standing customer DB Schenker; we are also jointly making them a reality with this eTrailer project.”, adds Dr. Stefan Binnewies, CEO of Krone Holding.
The use of eTrailers makes trucks more sustainable and lowers their CO2 emissions.
The electrified trailers of Trailer Dynamics have an electric drive train that makes it possible to support the drive of the tractor unit. A specially developed component uses a patented sensor system to determine the driving dynamics of the tractor-trailer combination and then readjusts the eTrailer so that the eTrailer supports the tractor unit. The tractor unit cannot be overridden at any time, however. The electric drive train also allows energy to be recovered during braking.
The eTrailer's drive control system operates independently, so no interface with the tractor is necessary. In addition, the trailers can be combined and used with tractor units from all manufacturers. The eTrailers support diesel, gas, electric, and hydrogen-powered tractors.
The trailers can be equipped with 300kWh, 450kWh, or 600kWh batteries as required. This can extend the range of electric tractors by up to 500 km, depending on the use case, and also significantly reduce the fuel consumption of conventional diesel tractors. CO2 emissions can thus be reduced by 20%-40%.
The logistics provider will successively roll out these 2,000 eTrailers across its European network starting in 2024.
About DB Schenker
With around 76,100 employees at more than 1,850 locations in over 130 countries, DB Schenker is one of the world’s leading logistics providers. The company operates land, air, and ocean transportation services, and it also offers comprehensive solutions for logistics and global supply chain management from a single source. DB Schenker is celebrating its 150th anniversary in 2022. In order to achieve its ambitious goal of climate neutrality by 2040, the logistics service provider is continuously investing in innovative transport solutions, renewable energy, and carbon-neutral products for its customers.
About Trailer Dynamics
Together with its strategic partner Krone, Trailer Dynamics has developed a comprehensive solution for reducing diesel consumption in long-haul diesel trucks that is unique in the industry to date. Known as the eTrailer, this solution can also extend the range of battery-powered tractor units by using an additional fully reliable electric drive train.
This electric drive train, which is the heart of the system, is installed in the eTrailer rather than in the tractor unit and makes it possible to connect eTrailers to any tractor unit. The intelligent electric drive train in the eTrailers from Trailer Dynamics support the diesel tractor unit throughout the entire journey, assisting with everything from initial acceleration to driving uphill. The electric drive also helps with the recovery of energy during braking. If the above-mentioned operations do not use up all electricity resources, the electric drive train will use whatever energy is left over to continuously provide support to the tractor unit’s diesel drive system throughout the entire journey.
Depending on the payload and topography and road conditions, the electric drive system in the eTrailer enables a significant reduction of CO2 emissions from the diesel tractor unit – at least 20%, or 20 tons or more of CO2.
About the Krone Commercial Vehicle Group
The family-owned Krone Group is a market leader in commercial vehicles and agricultural engineering. The product portfolio of its commercial vehicle business division includes curtainsiders, refrigerated and dry freight semitrailers, container chassis, swap body systems, trailers, and CEP (courier, express and parcel) vehicles.
Krone uses state-of-the-art technology in order to ensure the best corrosion protection: All chassis are coated with zinc phosphate in a cathodic process and are also powder-coated. Still, customers’ requirements go far beyond the vehicle, which is why Krone offers a comprehensive service package that includes telematics, spare parts supply, financing, rental vehicles, and used vehicles, among other things. Krone presented its “Mission Beyond Zero” concept at the IAA Transportation 2022 exhibition in Hanover. This overall concept marks the starting point for a new generation of trailer transport solutions that ensure a significant reduction of the CO2 emissions of semitrailer trucks through a combination of digitalization, automation, sustainability, and electrification.