Thursday, 4 July 2019

Volvo presents zero emissions tractor

Volvo Penta launched a new battery electric drive line for terminal tractors at TOC Europe.

Volvo Penta presented what it calls “yet another step in its journey towards offering electrified power solutions by 2021” with a battery electric drive line in a Kalmar terminal tractor at TOC Europe this week.

The tractor on display was not a purpose built electric machine, but rather a Kalmar machine that had been “converted” to a full electric drive line using “proven electromobility technology from Volvo’s bus and truck applications”.

The drive line featured 2 x 49KwH battery packs powering 2 x 105kW drive motors (options for different size batteries are available) and a two-stage transmission initially developed for Volvo buses. The battery system is not sized to last a full 8-hour shift. It is intended for applications with fast opportunity charging points, and/or a charging opportunity during a shift break.

“We strive for sustainable power solutions not only from an environmental standpoint but also from an economic one,” said Peter Granqvist, CTO of Volvo Penta. “We are seeing that certain electric applications are reaching a point where they are providing a lower total cost of ownership than diesel engines. Material handling is a promising segment for electrification due to its high machine utilization and greater accessibility to charging. We therefore decided to create a proof of concept for this segment in order to implement market feedback into our development.”

Volvo Penta stressed that the pilot has given it a deeper understanding of the challenges OEMs face fitting an electric drive line into an existing diesel machine like a terminal tractor. “Our approach going forward in the development will centre around close collaboration with OEMs and operators; this is critical for success,” added Granqvist. “With deep application knowledge, our solutions will be fit for purpose and adapted to customer needs. We take a full systems supplier approach, using our global aftermarket service network to take responsibility for the full system installation. This is how we will help our customers in the transition towards new, clean technology solutions.”

Volvo confirmed that the drive line in the Kalmar machine on display is the same as Volvo Trucks is using in its new “Vera” autonomous tractor that DFDS is testing in Gothenburg.

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