Krone prototype e-axle could save up to 40% fuel

Commercial Motor
September 25, 2022

A prototype electric axle fitted to a semi-trailer that can potentially save a vehicle up to 40% in fuel was the central attraction on the Krone stand.

The manufacturer fitted an e-axle supplied by its subsidiary business Gigant to a tri-axle eMega Liner chassis, which is powered by a 600kW battery. Jochen Mählmann is the managing director of German company Trailer Dynamics, the firm working in collaboration with Krone on the project.

“When the vehicle is moving forward, a sensor at the back of the kingpin activates the battery and electric motor to operate the e-axle,” he explained. “It can save between 20% and 40% fuel or energy for the tractor unit.”

He continued: “The e-axle also recovers braking energy through recuperation. The energy carried in the ‘eTrailer’ is also enough for long hauls of more than 500km.

“In conjunction with battery electric-powered tractor units, it contributes to increasing the range of a fully electrified semi-trailer on long hauls of more than 500km before it requires a recharge.”

For road safety, when the vehicle articulates, the trailer disconnects with the sensor so it doesn’t push a truck-trailer combination through corners that might cause a jack-knife.

“There are three battery power options: 300kW, 450kW and 600kW. With the biggest battery pack, it adds 4.7 tonnes to the vehicle’s overall weight, whereas the 300kW adds 2.6 tonnes. We expect this weight to reduce as battery technology improves ahead of series production in 2024,” he added.

Krone will also offer its e-trailer with box, curtainsided and refrigerated options.

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