French retailer Carrefour has been testing what it claims is the world’s largest all-electric truck under actual operating conditions for the past 18 months, to rave reviews.
The 16-ton refrigerated delivery truck was developed by Renault Trucks, and is based on a Midlum vehicle chassis. It has a 103 kW electric motor and two lithium-ion battery packs with a total energy of 170 kWh. Payload is 5.5 tons, operating range is 120 km, and recharging time is 8 hours.
According to Renault, the electric truck produced 86% less CO2 emissions on a well-to-wheels basis than an equivalent ICE vehicle. “This figure represents only 2.3 kg of CO2 emitted per ton,” said Christophe Vacquier, Renault Trucks’ Product Manager. “That’s seven times less than an equivalent diesel vehicle. When used under actual operating conditions, this vehicle demonstrated it consumed only 0.95 kWh per kilometer travelled. That figure not only includes the energy needed for the vehicle’s propulsion, but also the power used for operating auxiliary equipment such as the cooling system for the refrigerated body or cab heating.”
“During deceleration phases, the propulsion motor becomes an electrical generator which recharges the batteries. 25% of the energy used by the vehicle comes from this generator,” said Vacquier. “The only technical problems we had were due to settings or bad electrical contacts, which we were able to solve rapidly.”
The driver was also happy. “This vehicle is very easy to drive, just like any other vehicle. It didn’t take me any longer to do my rounds. I appreciated its automatic gearbox and its silence. I think it’s the ideal vehicle for making deliveries in town!”
“This quiet-running vehicle gave us access to a night-time delivery slot (from 5 AM to 7 AM), allowing us to respect the peace and quiet of those living in the vicinity,” said Nadège Doubinsky, Vehicle Technical Director for logistics specialist STEF, which conducted the test. “It projects a very positive image to clients and local inhabitants. The only point that needs improving is the vehicle’s operating range. 100 km is not enough for the length of rounds we do in the town center.”