The Anonymous Widower

DHL Teams With Volvo Trucks To Speed Up Transition To Fossil-Free Trucking

The title of this post is the same as that of this article on CleanTechnica.

This is the introductory paragraph.

Electric buses, electric garbage trucks, and even electric construction equipment are becoming more and more commonplace in urban landscapes, but there’s still some debate over whether or not battery electric vehicles will take over open-road, long distance trucking any time soon. To help make the case that electric trucking is the way forward, DHL Freight and Volvo Trucks have partnered to speed up the introduction of heavy duty electric trucks to be used for regional transport throughout Sweden.

Read the article and see what you think.

The author takes the view that electric trucks may be able to handle heavy duty road transport and that would sideline expensive fuel cell trucks powered by hydrogen.

This is a paragraph.

If it’s successful, the move to battery electric trucking could be one of the final nails in the coffin of expensive hydrogen fuel cell projects like Nikola Trucks and Volvo’s own recently acquired Daimler truck division.

I  am not so sure, that he is right!

Recently, I wrote Holyhead Hydrogen Hub Planned For Wales and Felixstowe And Harwich Ports Submit Bid For ‘Freeport’ Status, where hydrogen hubs are proposed at the posts of Holyhead and Felixstowe.

  • This is a distance of 335 miles.
  • As trucks average 55 mph on motorways and dual carriageways, this journey would take six hours.
  • Six hours is the maximum time a truck driver can work without a break.
  • Tesla have said that their battery Semi Truck will have a range of 300 or 500 miles.

I feel that this rough calculation shows that both electric and hydrogen trucks could handle the Felixstowe and Holyhead route.

  • With the battery truck, the weight and size of the battery would probably reduce the payload.
  • Factors like cost of ownership, payload and drivers hours would probably play a big part in the choice.
  • Trucks would need to be refuelled at the start of the journey, if they’d just come off a ferry.
  • On Tesla’s figures, recharging a battery truck would take thirty minutes.

Once we start looking at practical journeys like say Cologne and Dublin, if you want to do it with one truck, it has to be hydrogen.

But a container between Felixstowe and Holyhead could probably be handled by an electric truck.

If you look at between Dover and Holyhead, that is 370 miles and at 55 mph, it would take almost seven hours. So the driver would need a break.

Conclusion

There will need to be extensive modelling to decide, what type of truck is best for a particular route, operator and cargo.

Daimler’s Philosophy

In Daimler Trucks Presents Technology Strategy For Electrification – World Premiere Of Mercedes-Benz Fuel-Cell Concept Truck, I examined Daimler’s strategy for hydrogen and electric trucks.

This is a summary of their philosophy.

  • Mercedes-Benz GenH2 Truck, a fuel-cell truck with a range of up to 1,000 kilometres and more for flexible and demanding long-haul transport – customer trials in 2023, start of series production in second half of this decade.
  • Mercedes-Benz eActros LongHaul, a battery-electric truck with a range of about 500 kilometres for energy-efficient transport on plannable long-haul routes – projected to be ready for series production in 2024.
  • Mercedes-Benz eActros, a battery-electric truck with a range of well over 200 kilometres for heavy urban distribution to go into series production in 2021.

Note.

  1. 500 kilometres is 310 miles,
  2. The Mercedes-Benz eActros LongHaul will be able to handle Dover or Felixstowe and Holyhead with a thirty minute driver break/battery charge somewhere in the Midlands.
  3. The Mercedes-Benz GenH2 Truck will be able to handle Dover or Felixstowe and Holyhead without refuelling.
  4. The Mercedes-Benz GenH2 Truck will be able to handle a 620 mile out-and-back journey from Dover or Felixstowe without refuelling. This would allow journeys to Birmingham, Derby, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Nottingham and Sheffield

The flexibility built into Daimler’s philosophy is probably a sensible approach and ideal for truck journeys from Dover and Felixstowe.

Daimler would appear to have done a lot of modelling.

 

 

February 25, 2021 - Posted by | Hydrogen, Transport/Travel | , , , ,

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