Will hybrid technology revolutionise the trucking industry?
TandL News, 20 July 2016
Hybrid truck technology from the French transport technology company Adgero could help Australian road transport operators cut fuel consumption by up to 25 per cent and radically reduce the trucking industry’s carbon footprint, the company has claimed. Adgero has developed what it calls the world’s first operational Kinetic Energy Recovery System (KERS) for road transport to boost efficiency through fuel savings, extra power and reduced emissions for truck fleets.
Adgero president Mack Murray presented the UltraBoost system at ComVec, Australia’s heavy vehicle engineering conference in Melbourne. The UltraBoost system consists of an electrically driven axle mounted under the semi-trailer or rigid truck body, powered by a bank of graphene ultracapacitors and controlled by intelligent management software that automatically controls regenerative braking and acceleration boost.
During braking the UltraBoost system harnesses kinetic energy and stores it in the ultracapacitors; that power is then delivered back to the axles in the form of a power boost during acceleration. Intelligent software management ensures smooth power delivery so drivers are only aware of the difference when checking their fuel consumption, which is maximised during start-stop traffic or traversing hilly terrain.
“The incredibly varied nature of Australia’s roads represents a huge potential for energy-saving for the road haulage industry through hybridisation,” Mr Murray said. “Take Australia’s busiest trucking route, the Hume Highway, for example: crossing the Great Dividing Range means constant braking and accelerating for truck drivers – this is all potential energy that could be harnessed to save fuel and emissions.
“Trucks account for the Australian transport sector’s second largest source of greenhouse gas emissions after cars, and more than 95 per cent of road freight is carried by heavy vehicles such as semi-trailers, B-doubles and rigid trucks – most of which can be retrofitted with a Kinetic Energy Recovery System (KERS).
“Trucks travelling along busy routes between capitals or in urban areas would benefit most by hybridisation, but our UltraBoost system could also reduce fuel consumption for road trains, mining trucks or even port crane vehicles such as straddle carriers.”
Adgero’s UltraBoost is currently undergoing a trial with the UK transport giant Eddie Stobart Ltd. for use on its urban UK delivery routes, including Greater London.