We use cookies on this site to enhance your user experience.
By continuing to browse our site you accept our cookie policy. Find out more. OK, I agree
NEW MOBILITY WORLD @IAA 2019Frankfurt/Main, September 10–15, 2019
Clean and Sustainable Mobility

The Electrification of Commercial Vehicles

By Editorial Team on November 21, 2018

A broad array of experts agree: Electric mobility is the future. Whether it’s the sedan, a compact car, big SUVs or luxury cars – the electrification of the private car is on the rise. But aren’t we forgetting something? Because mobility doesn’t just consist of cars, whether it’s in urban areas, the countryside or in the highway. Commercial vehicles are a major factor in today’s mobility landscape. And they are facing different challenges than private cars. So it needs to be asked: Can we transfer the benefits of electric cars to trucks and vans? What is the current state of e-mobility for commercial vehicles?

Cheaper, Quieter, Holistic – Electrified Commercial Vehicles

We discussed this issue during the 2018 edition of the New Mobility World. As part of the Vision Mobility Think Tank, experts presented their ideas and projects for the electric truck or transporter of the future on stage.

First up was Edward Jobson, Vice President of Electromobility at Volvo Trucks. He talked about electricity as a fuel and alternative powertrain and the manufacturer’s plans on electric trucks. Most notable: The costs of electricity as a means of propulsion can be significantly reduced by using renewable energies. The prices for the megawatt-hour gained by wind or solar energy (around $50 US per MWh) are significantly lower than prices for electricity from coal (just under $100 per MWh) or even nuclear power (over $150 per MWh). Jobson highlighted that a 4MW wind power plant produces enough energy to drive up to 200 electric FE trucks. Overall, the electrification of commercial vehicles could save up to 10.000 tonnes of CO2 and 2.500 cubic meters of fuel per year.

Subsequently, Jobson presented the Volvo Electric FL / FE with a range of up to 200 to 300 kilometres. The charging time is usually 10 hours, but fast charging is also possible. According to Jobson, the truck is designed for urban transport needs, so this might be the one to bring you your Black Friday haul in the coming years.

Mercedes’ eActros

Next, Christian Lazik, Product Manager at Mercedes-Benz Trucks, presented the eActros. The first model was already delivered to Hermes, nine more were delivered after the IAA to Dachser, Edeka, and other partners. As a test, the three-axle trucks (weighing 25 tons, with a rage of up to 200 kilometres when fully loaded) will be driven by these customers for one year before another test phase will start. Overall, the truck will roll out as a series product in 2021.

Commercial Vehicles as the Driver of E-Mobility

Third up, Markus Schell, Managing Partner of BPW, presented his ideas for the electrification of commercial vehicles. Schell sees the commercial vehicle industry as the driver of electromobility as it concerns itself with deliveries on the last mile. Especially on the last mile, various changes will need to be made in the future with an increasing amount of daily deliveries. The new changes will create opportunities and innovations driving and shaping the electric future of mobility.

Another method to make electric utility vehicles cheaper and more accessible to more companies is the refurbishment of existing vehicles. Engines, such as diesel engines, can be replaced by electric drives without making the vehicle heavier or reducing the goods load. A 1t engine can be replaced with an equally heavy alternative engine.

What Does E-Mobility Cost?

Third up, Markus Schell, Managing Partner of BPW, presented his ideas for the electrification of commercial vehicles. Schell sees the commercial vehicle industry as the driver of electromobility as it concerns itself with deliveries on the last mile. Especially on the last mile, various changes will need to be made in the future with an increasing amount of daily deliveries. The new changes will create opportunities and innovations driving and shaping the electric future of mobility.

Another method to make electric utility vehicles cheaper and more accessible to more companies is the refurbishment of existing vehicles. Engines, such as diesel engines, can be replaced by electric drives without making the vehicle heavier or reducing the goods load. A 1t engine can be replaced with an equally heavy alternative engine.

Electromobility at New Mobility World 2019

Based on these questions, we must keep the discussion on electric mobility going and extend it to the personal vehicle. Electricity will continue to play a major role in the future for both commercial vehicles and private cars. At the NMW 2019, we will again ask the question of the status quo and the future of the electric drive.

Stay updated

Sign up here to receive the latest NMW news and industry trends directly in your inbox.