The first of many electric container transporters has been delivered to the Altenwerder Container Terminal (CTA).
Located just south of Hamburg, Germany on the river Elbe, CTA is one of the most modern and automated container terminals in the world. At CTA, automated guided vehicles (AGVs) ferry containers from ship to yard to truck or train, with no need for a human driver. The facility currently has a fleet of almost 100 AGVs, some powered by diesel, some by lead-acid batteries.
The new lithium-ion battery-powered AGV, which weighs 26.5 metric tons, represents the first step in a plan to replace all the legacy AGVs with lithium-ion models by the end of 2022.
A pilot project to test a lithium-ion AGV prototype coupled with an automatic electric charging station has been under way at CTA since 2016. The lithium-ion AGVs present several advantages over their lead-acid predecessors. They can be fully charged in an hour and a half, weigh a third of what the lead-acid units do, and need no maintenance.
Now the new lithium-ion AGVs are being delivered to Hamburg weekly from the Konecranes yard in Düsseldorf. They will initially replace the diesel-powered vehicles, then phase out the lead-acid battery-powered vehicles.
Once the new generation of AGVs takes over, CTA expects to reduce its yearly emissions of CO2 by approximately 15,550 metric tons and of nitric oxide by 118 tons.
“By employing lithium-ion AGVs, we are contributing to the purification of air in Hamburg,” explains CTA Managing Director Ingo Witte. Using environmentally friendly transports also pays off economically: “Taking the ratio of energy consumed to actual power output into account, they are three times more efficient than their diesel-powered predecessors.”