11-12/2017 The know-how exists
Cargo transport has grown strongly over the past few years, and naturally also over the last mile. But combustion engines are becoming ever-more of a problem, on account of air pollution. One approach to easing the impact of emissions would be to operate more battery-powered lorries (e-trucks). Field tests have been carried out, but practice shows that matters have not advanced yet substantially in this field. The managing director of a medium-sized German logistics enterprise recently reported on his futile effort to buy such an e-truck. Local dealers couldn’t help him – yet. Direct contact with a manufacturer only resulted in him being sent back to said dealers.
Some last-mile deliveries are carried out electrically today, because some service providers have turned manufacturer. Deutsche Post came up against a brick wall when talking to the makers of e-vehicles. In 2014 it took over a company that makes electric lorries. Approximately 2,000 of this firm’s trucks are in action today, most of them in Germany. Their range: up to 80 km. So the electrical know-how exists. Several 18 t e-trucks have been deployed for short-range tasks by the retailers Coop, Lidl and Rewe since 2014. They are manufactured by the Swiss company E-Force, which equips Iveco lorries with electric motors and batteries. With this equipment the e-truck can cover up to 300 km – not bad! Similar offers exist from the Dutch firm Emoss and the US supplier Smith.
Experience shows that e-trucks can compete with diesel units financially too; and over and above this, they will not be affected by an inner-city ban on diesel vehicles. One major truck-maker has plans to offer an e-truck for sale at the end of 2018, another one in 2020.
Let’s see what else happens in this field before then...