Thermo King hybrid drive refrigerated trailer hits the market

Hayley Tayler
November 28, 2017


Thermo King is now offering its hybrid drive trailer for sale as a low-emission, low-noise option for hauliers entering urban areas.

Initially introduced as a concept in 2016, which was highlighted at this year’s CV Show, the new SLXi Hybrid unit is available as part of the SLXi range.

The hybrid system uses sister firm Frigoblock’s EnviroDrive package, which features a generator installed on the tractor engine and an inverter-drive system to provide constant electric power. This enables it to operate in electric mode both when connected to a three-phase power supply at the loading dock and while driving on the road.

The technology allows for all deliveries to be performed with the refrigeration unit’s diesel engine turned off for minimum impact on the urban environment.

Thermo King said this offers a” unique flexibility to transport companies”, as the diesel engine can be restarted whenever needed and allows the unit to keep full autonomy at all times.

“The SLXi Hybrid is a truly innovative technology that answers our customers’ demand for solutions that will give them easier access to restricted, low-emission urban areas while lowering their environmental footprint and operating costs in the same time,” said Laurent Debias, product management leader at Thermo King and Frigoblock.

”With this new hybrid technology. our customers can create a truly flexible long haul and urban distribution refrigeration fleet for all their semi-trailer applications.”

Customers running existing SLXi fleets can upgrade their systems to hybrid mode at any Thermo King service centre or dealership.

On-the-road trial

German haulage firm MJ Transport, based in Dortmund, carried out trials of the new hybrid technology transporting fresh and frozen goods between Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium.

During the eight-week test, Thermo King said the haulier’s semi-trailer unit needed to be refuelled only once compared with an average of every 1.5 to 2 weeks on a standard refrigeration unit.

In the same period, tractor unit fuel consumption increased by only 0.6 litres for every 100km travelled.

Furthermore, the manufacturer claimed that continuous high-capacity operation of the unit on trial provided “very accurate temperature control and better air circulation”.

It added that this created ideal conditions in the temperature-controlled compartment for the transportation of sensitive products and proved to be a cost-effective advantage in the shipment of plants and flowers.


About the Author


Hayley Tayler

Hayley Tayler has worked across Road Transport Media’s portfolio of publications, including Commercial Motor and Motor Transport, since 2008 in a number of editorial roles from news reporter to urban editor. She now specialises in events and projects content for the business, including the Road Transport Expo and a series of industry research reports.

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