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 | , , , , | Leave a comment

Arcola Energy Introduces A-Drive Fuel Cell Powertrain Platform

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

This is the introductory paragraph.

Arcola Energy, a company that specializes in hydrogen and fuel cell systems, has developed a proprietary hydrogen fuel cell (HFC) powertrain platform – designed for vehicle applications requiring high-duty cycle capabilities and fast refueling.

\we will see more hydrogen powertrains produced by big companies; like Cummins and Daimler and small companies like Arcola.

Many of the smaller ones, will perish. just like many smaller car companies did in the first seventy years of the twentieth century. Who remembers names like Allard, Borgward, Humber, Panhard and Riley?

I suspect, that in the near future, wherever you live and you come up with an idea, that needs zero-carbon motive power, there will be a convenient company to provide you with that power, using hydrogen.

One of my clients with Daisy used to be Cummins Engines. They told me most firmly, that if I ever needed a diesel engine to provide power for an application, they would customise one of their engines to fit my application.

Now that Cummins have gone into hydrogen in a big way with the purchase of Hydrogenics, will we see a similar philosophy?

December 4, 2020 Posted by | Hydrogen, Transport | , , , , | Leave a comment

Megawatt Charging System Set To Rapidly Reduce Fuelling Time For Commercial EVs

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on Electric Autonomy Canada.

This is the sub-title.

An international task force says their recent high power “charge-in” event has yielded promising results with successful testing of novel connector prototypes that could overhaul the long-haul industry.

The problem of charging heavy freight trucks is a big market in North America and it seems that the event attracted some big players, like ABB, Daimler and Tesla.

  • In the trucking industry, speed and range count for a lot.
  • Trucks need to be charged during a driver’s rest break of about thirty minutes.
  • In the U.S., transport made up 28 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Charging lots of trucks on typical state-of-the-art car chargers would probably crash the system.

The Megawatt Charging System aims to solve the problems.

How Would It Work?

This paragraph from the article, outlines the problems.

But how, one may ask, could such a massive electrical draw — as much as 4.5 megawatts — be supported by a grid, especially when the usage scale is not just one truck charging up, once a day, but thousands of 18-wheelers rolling and charging across the country.

The MCS Task Force seem to be suggesting that these systems will work as follows.

  • A large battery or energy storage system will be trickle charged.
  • The truck will be connected and the electricity will flow into the truck.
  • It could all be automated.

It sounds very much like Vivarail’s Fast Charge system, which uses batteries as the intermediate store.

As an Electrical and Control Engineer, I would use a battery with a fast response.

I think I would use a Gravitricity battery. This page on their web site describes their technology.

Gravitricity™ technology has a unique combination of characteristics:

  • 50-year design life – with no cycle limit or degradation
  • Response time – zero to full power in less than one second
  • Efficiency – between 80 and 90 percent
  • Versatile – can run slowly at low power or fast at high power
  • Simple – easy to construct near networks
  • Cost effective – levelised costs well below lithium batteries.

Each unit can be configured to produce between 1 and 20MW peak power, with output duration from 15 minutes to 8 hours.

 

October 30, 2020 Posted by | Energy, Energy Storage, Transport | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Daimler, Volvo Trucks Team Up On Hydrogen Fuel Cells For Heavy Trucks

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

This is the introductory paragraph.

Daimler and Volvo Trucks plan to collaborate on development and sales of fuel-cells for heavy-duty trucks, as the costs of new technology and uncertainty related to the coronavirus pandemic are pushing large manufacturers to pool resources.

It also appears, that they are open to other companies to join the over billion euro joint-venture.

To my mind, this deal is a massive endorsement of hydrogen, as the fuel of the future for heavy trucks and buses.

April 22, 2020 Posted by | Transport | , , , , | Leave a comment