Emissions, fuel consumption and particle contamination are highly topical in the
commercial vehicles industry. Planned legal regulations additionally motivate
research and development: The new regulations stipulate the further reduction or
complete prevention of environmental contamination and emissions. To allow, for
example, ports and airports to meet their overall emissions balance in future, they
would have to only use zero-emissions vehicles in their internal logistics.
“Partially or fully electric commercial vehicles are a perfect solution for these requirements.
We are starting out with two new electric axles for trailers,” says Olaf
Drewes, Head of Pre-Development at SAF-HOLLAND. With regard to noise and
exhaust emissions, the new axles work towards supporting the legal requirements
of tomorrow. This also applies to the challenges of inner-city deliveries at
night, for example for the transport of chilled goods.
Recuperation as additional power source
Recuperation of energy, as during braking, transforms the motion energy of the
vehicle into electrical energy, for example during thrust phases. The energy is
stored in a lithium-ion battery and then used for auxiliary units in the trailer, such
as heaters, tail lifts, pumps or cooling systems.
With recuperation, almost all of this
energy can be generated during driving.
Recuperation as an additional source of
power generation saves fuel while reducing
noise development and exhaust emissions
of the entire vehicle. If energy is only recuperated
during deceleration, the fuel consumption
of the tractor unit does not increase.
Benefits for vehicle manufacturers
SAF-HOLLAND provides its customers with an overall system that features an
optimum combination of operating strategy and components. In addition to the
electric axle and the power electronics, the package also includes the battery
system and the control unit. “For trailer manufacturers and vehicle operators, this
means that the system operates smoothly without competence problems at interfaces,”
Olaf Drewes explains.
The drive unit does not have to be removed for uninstalling the hub unit and
wheels. Wear parts such as brake pads or brake discs are identical to the nondriven
axle components from SAF-HOLLAND – ensuring and simplifying spare
parts supply. In addition, SAF-HOLLAND will offer a service and training concept
which is specially adapted to the electric axles.
Trailer axles with electric generator and electric drive
SAF TRAKr uses a high-voltage generator module (400 V) for electric recuperation.
The new electric axle is primarily intended for refrigerated vehicles: It allows
cooling units to be temporarily operated with only electric power. This prevents or
reduces noise and exhaust emissions while also extending the service life of the
cooling unit components.
In addition to recuperation, SAF
TRAKe, the trailer axle with auxiliary
electric drive (maximum 147 kW), supports
the main drive of the tractor unit
on hills and on difficult terrain. “Bringing
the electric drive into the trailer as well
has great benefits for traction and stability,”
explains the Head of Pre-
Development at SAF-HOLLAND.
Modular electric axles
The electric axles from SAF-HOLLAND have a modular design and are equipped
with standardised interfaces. This allows them to meet all customer requirements
in the different variants. The axles will be available with the electric modules with
50 kW or 147 kW and also
- with different disc brakes and drum brakes for 19.5” and 22.5” tyres
- with different air suspensions such as SAF INTRA or SAF MODUL
- with different wheel connections and offsets for single and twin tyres.
The two axles are designed for axle loads from nine to twelve tons.
In light of the new emissions regulations and increasing fuel costs, electric axles
are a good investment in the future. SAF TRAKe and SAF TRAKr are designed
for the transport world of tomorrow: The new electric axles from SAF-HOLLAND
use recuperation to use energy efficiently, lower emissions and decrease fuel
consumption. SAF TRAKe uses an integrated additional drive to support the tractor
unit on difficult terrain and poor road conditions.
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