28 / 8 / 2013
A 300 km range, 240 kWh battery capacity and 408 BHP - the world's first electrically-powered 18-ton truck was created in Fehraltorf, Switzerland, on behalf of the E-FORCE ONE AG. And RADOX® cables by HUBER+SUHNER helped make the reliable construction of the high-voltage electrical system possible.
Historically smaller vehicles have been built but so far no one has ventured to build an electrically-powered 18-ton truck. The company Designwerk; an engineering office in Fehraltorf/Switzerland, have made it possible by developing for E-Force. A prototype vehicle based on an Iveco truck was equipped with two electric motors and two lithium battery units. With a range of 300 km, the prototype vehicle started road testing this month with the Feldschlösschen brewery. In October a second vehicle will start long term trials with the retailer Coop.
Success due to many years of experience
After a detailed planning phase, the diesel vehicle was converted into an electric truck within just six months. "The main challenge was efficient packaging and the enormous battery output of 240 kWh," says Marc-André Beck, Development Engineer at Designwerk. "We were able to draw on our experience from previous projects and rely on experienced project partners."
Radox cables for the world's largest truck
To construct the high-voltage electrical system, Designwerk relied on connection solutions by HUBER+SUHNER. "We were familiar with the company's RADOX® cables from other projects," says Marc-André Beck. "They are robust, reliable and perfectly suited for use in the engine compartment." HUBER+SUHNER supplied the orange-coloured RADOX® high-voltage cables for the high-voltage connections. The cables connect the high-voltage distribution unit (PDU) with all other electrical system components. Energy is supplied by two 1.3-ton lithium batteries. It is routed by RADOX® battery cables through the high-voltage distribution unit to two inverters, where it is converted into three-phase AC, and then fed to two electric motors. With their total capacity of 300 kW (408 BHP), the motors can pull a payload of 10 tons at speeds of up to 90 kilometres per hour. During braking, 40 percent of lost energy is recovered and fed to the batteries through the same circuit. High-voltage products by HUBER+SUHNER connect the PDU with other system components and ensure a reliable flow of current. The heating system, two chargers and a DC/DC converter for the alternator are connected to the PDU with the aid of RADOX® cables.
Modular design for another 100 vehicles
In 2014, E-FORCE ONE AG wants to purchase another 100 trucks for conversion to an electric drivetrain. The engineers at Designwerk will be providing more support for this project. "The main thing now for series production is to create modules that are as compact as possible and can be installed simply and efficiently as an assembly kit," Marc-André Beck reports. This is why the company is talking to HUBER+SUHNER. The cable manufacturer already has experience in designing and manufacturing complete electrical systems. On customer request, HUBER+SUHNER supplies high-voltage distribution units complete with the entire wiring - maybe also soon for the world's largest electric truck by E-FORCE ONE AG.