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Electric truck uses solar energy to cool cargo

Rhyner Logistik is taking advantage of solar technology to power the refrigeration unit of its all-electric truck.  

Joining the Swiss haulier’s 100-strong delivery fleet, the Renault D Wide Z.E. truck was recently purchased for the purpose of transporting supplies to the Denner supermarkets in Zurich and its suburbs. Denner is Switzerland’s third largest supermarket chain.

The roof-mounted solar panels will be used specifically to supplement the energy required to maintain the temperature of the cargo. Bringing Rhyner Logistik a step closer to its carbon neutrality goal, the fully electric truck with zero tailpipe emissions marks a new direction in the company’s efforts to harness solar energy on the move. The company has also acquired a rapid charging station, so the trucks can be loaded and recharged at the same time.

Fitted with a 22kW onboard AC charger, the all-electric vehicle is compatible with DC fast charging up to 150kW, 200KWh batteries – which comprise four packs of high energy density nickel manganese cobalt lithium-ion cells.

The regenerative braking feature of the Range D Wide Z.E. model complements the haulage firm’s usage of the truck, mostly driven in an urban environment that requires frequent stopping.

The motor converts the kinetic energy during deceleration into electrical energy, hence conserving energy and extending driving range. Energy recovery alone is estimated to yield savings of 20 to 30 per cent, which translate into additional mileage.

Convinced that electric mobility is the most effective way to achieve carbon neutrality, Rhyner Logistik will be assessing the operational results of the Renault EV ahead of future plans to electrify – or solar-power – the rest of the fleet.

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