Freudenberg Sealing Technologies (FST) and truck conversion company Quantron AG are to cooperate on the development of emission-free heavy haulage.
FTS will develop and produce truck solutions in the 40-tonne weight class with the commercial vehicle retrofitter Quantron, in order to create a low-emission alternative to conventional heavy-duty trucks with diesel engines.
FST will start developing a special fuel cell system for heavy-duty vehicles. The first test vehicle with the new drive technology should be on the streets of Bavaria as early as mid-2021.
The vehicle, named Energon, was presented to the public in early August.
The project is being funded by the energy research program of the Bavarian State Ministry for Economic Affairs, Regional Development and Energy.
The heavy 40-tonne trucks are very popular with haulage companies, due to their large loading volume. In recent years, the most modern technologies have found their way into this weight class and improved environmental friendliness, safety and efficiency. Nevertheless, consumption and emissions are still high.
While battery-electric vehicles can be used efficiently and environmentally friendly in urban areas, fuel cell technology is the success factor in emission-free logistics over long distances and with higher payloads. Because purely battery-powered electric commercial vehicles are unsuitable for everyday operation, among other things due to the long charging time and limited range due to lower energy densities. The battery loses range significantly in slow traffic or traffic jams.
An additional, time-consuming refueling stop is economically inefficient. In addition, a battery-electric drive requires concessions in terms of the possible payload.
“Fuel cell trucks are the only economical, emission-free alternative that allows large payloads as well as significant ranges and fast refueling cycles,” said Dr. Manfred Stefener, vice president fuel cell systems at Freudenberg Sealing Technologies. “That’s why we’re looking forward to working with Quantron AG to create fuel cell applications that are explicitly geared towards the maximum load and operating points of trucks.”