Electric truck range reaches new heights

  • Germany’s Production Engineering of E-Mobility Components (PEM) announces successful tests of an electric truck with a fuel cell range extender.
  • Game-changing “SeLv” research project hits the mark, pushing the boundaries of heavy-duty trucks for emission-free logistics.
  • Fuel cell innovation propels electric trucks to new heights, marking a significant stride toward sustainable transportation.

Prototype hydrogen-powered electric truck conquers rigorous tests in Germany 

In a groundbreaking development, the Chair of Production Engineering of E-Mobility Components (PEM) at RWTH Aachen University in Germany has announced the successful completion of initial tests for their electric truck featuring a cutting-edge fuel cell range extender. This innovative prototype emerges as the tangible outcome of the “SeLv” research project, a dedicated initiative targeting heavy-duty trucks to revolutionise logistics through emission-free solutions.

At the Aldenhoven Testing Center in North Rhine-Westphalia, researchers have reported the positive outcomes of their prototype battery electric truck with a hydrogen fuel cell range extender. The truck successfully navigated various challenges on driving dynamics surfaces, a braking track, an oval track, and an incline hill, covering approximately 500 km in testing.

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Revolutionising logistics on a significant scale, the vehicle in question is a product of the “SeLv” research project, generously backed by the German Federal Ministry for Digital and Transport with an investment of approximately 16.9 million euros. Aptly named, “SeLv” encapsulates the mission of this innovative endeavour, focusing on Heavy-duty trucks for zero-emission logistics. The project strategically employs electrification modules and an economically efficient production system, paving the way for a sustainable future in heavy-duty transport.

PEM Director, Professor Achim Kampker, said:

“The tests under real conditions have shown that the combination of battery-electric drivetrain and fuel cell-hydrogen system works for heavy-duty trucks. After checking the basic functions, we successfully tested the hydrogen system as well as the energy and thermal management.”

The ambitious project led by RWTH Aachen University is set to make waves until the conclusion of 2024, honing in on the evolution of an electric powertrain featuring a fuel cell range extender, tailored for commercial vehicles weighing in at a substantial 41 tons. What sets this project apart is its commitment to modularity, ensuring the developed powertrain is equally adept for retrofit solutions as it is for integration into brand-new vehicles, marking a pivotal step towards versatile and sustainable heavy-duty transportation solutions.

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