Four engineers with UK electric-truck maker Tevva recently took Tevva’s dual-energy prototype truck on the road for a range test. They accumulated 1,000 kilometers (approximately 620 miles) in the 7.5-ton hydrogen-electric vehicle, driving between Tevva’s London HQ and the Scottish border at Berwick-on-Tweed, England’s most northernmost town.
The return journey saw the truck cover almost 350 miles without a single stop for recharging. This was made possible by the truck’s hydrogen fuel cell, which tops up the range-extended (Rex) vehicle’s lithium battery when needed.
The freezing conditions were extremely challenging, engineers said, but helpful in providing important data about vehicle performance. Temperatures rarely climbed above freezing during the trip, and at one point it dropped to minus 10.
EU: Trucks Must Cut CO2 Emissions 90% by 2040.
The European Union gave heavy vehicles a little more time to meet strict carbon-dioxide emissions goals than the deadline for cars.
Trucks in the EU will be required to cut emissions to near zero by 2040 under new pollution targets announced in February by the European Commission.
Heavy vehicles will be required to cut emissions by 45% by 2030, 65% by 2035, and 90% by 2040. This is more lenient than an EU-wide ban on internal combustion engines for new cars that starts in 2035.
“We will eventually have to move to a 100% target, but at this stage we cannot yet say when all uses of trucks and buses can be made zero-emissions with the technologies currently available,” said Commission Executive Vice-President Frans Timmermans.
While environmental groups criticized the government for not making heavy vehicles meet the same standards as light-duty cars and vans, European truck makers expressed concern.
“We are ready to deliver,” stated Martin Lundstedt, ACEA’s commercial vehicle board chairman and CEO of Volvo Group. (ACEA is the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association.) “However, reaching -45% already by 2030 is highly ambitious. It would require equally ambitious action by policymakers to ensure that the other players in the transport and logistics value chain deliver at the same time.”
A CO2 reduction of 45% by 2030 means that more than 400,000 zero-emission trucks would have to be on the road, and at least 100,000 new zero-emissions trucks registered annually, according to ACEA. This would require over 50,000 publicly-accessible chargers suitable for trucks to be in operation within just seven years, of which some 35,000 should be high-performance chargers (megawatt charging system). It would additionally require some 700 hydrogen refilling stations.
“Given that charging stations that are suited to the specific needs of trucks are almost completely missing today, the challenge ahead is enormous,” said ACEA Director General Sigrid de Vries.
News Briefs from Around the World
Mexico: The biggest trucking fleet in Mexico, Trayecto, has ordered additional KenMex compressed natural gas powered trucks with Hexagon Agility’ fuel systems. Trayecto was recently formed when Alianza Trayecto, Grupo Larmex and Grupo Transportes Monterrey merged. Previously, Trayecto was operating over 300 CNG tractors in its fleet of 4,000 trucks throughout Latin America.
Germany: ZF and Wolfspeed have teamed up to develop semiconductor technologies tailored to electric vehicles, including commercial vehicles. The chips will use silicon carbide, a semiconductor material suited to high temperature and/or high-voltage applications. The collaboration hopes to produce semiconductor devices with increased power density and better performance.
Germany: Italy-based truck maker Iveco and autonomous-tech developer Plus have embarked on public road testing of their jointly developed next-generation highly automated trucks in Germany. The PlusDrive-enabled Iveco S-Way truck is a “driver-in” system designed to improve safety, efficiency, and driver experience. The testing will collect road data to validate the truck’s operations and start designing potential factory production.
Thailand: Thai grocery retailer chain Big C is teaming up with DHL Supply Chain Thailand to deploy electric trucks, initially for product distribution from the Big C Wangnoi Distribution Center to Big C branches in Bangkok. Big C is aiming for net zero carbon emission by 2050.
This news first appeared in the March 2023 issue of Heavy Duty Trucking. Hotline Global is produced in partnership with UK-based Truck & Bus Builder. For a free trial subscription to T&BB.