Eddie Stobart to trial KERS trailer

Eddie Stobart is to trial a regenerative-braking-powered semi-trailer that aims to cut fuel and carbon emissions by up to 25%.

Designed by SDC Trailers, the kinetic energy recovery system (KERS) curtainsider will make its debut at the CV Show at the NEC in Birmingham, from 26-28 April.

The 13.6m trailer uses a hybrid system comprising a bank of ultra-capacitors, alongside an electrically-driven axle, to capture energy loss and use this energy to re-power the vehicle.

During braking, the motor becomes a generator, recovering kinetic energy that would otherwise be lost as heat and storing it in the ultra-capacitors. 

The technology is controlled by a management system that tracks driver input to control the boost and regenerative braking provided by the trailer. SDC said fuel consumption and carbon emissions can be slashed by up to 25% using KERS, with significantly reduced maintenance costs associated with brake wear and tear.

SDC head of engineering Jimmy Dorrian said: “Operator efficiency was the driving force behind the kinetic energy-recovery trailer innovation. Customers are always looking for ways to reduce fuel consumption and overall carbon footprint, especially in demanding applications such as heavy terrain or continuous urban transport.”

He added that road haulage accounts for more than 20% of the EU’s total CO2 emissions and so the trailer will have significant benefits to operators and the environment.

SDC has worked with European manufacturers Adegro SARL and Skeleton Technologies on the design of its KERS trailer. The two firms last year adapted the technology, already popular in the motorsport world, for use on HGVs.

At the CV Show, SDC will also be displaying a 13.6m boxvan manufactured using glassfibre reinforced plastic plywood; a 10.79m Owen’s urban trailer 
with Tridec bar rear steer and Dhollandia tuckaway tail-lift for deliveries into tight urban locations; a 4.6m tri-axle curtainsider (Hireco); and a 
4.7m tri-axle curtainsider (TIP Trailer Services).