MUNICH, March 2016. For more than six months, the SCHERM Group has been using a 100-percent electric Terberg YT202-EV terminal tractor with an Allison 3000 Series™ fully automatic transmission for the BMW Group’s material transports. As compared to a diesel truck, the YT202-EV saves nearly 12 tons of carbon dioxide from being released into the environment annually.
According to Rainer Zoellner, e-truck project manager at the SCHERM Group, if the electric truck continues to prove itself through the end of its one-year pilot program, project expansion is likely. “The e-truck completes just-in-time regular service tasks to our fullest satisfaction and, so far, we have had only positive experiences with the Allison transmission.”
The BMW and SCHERM groups have a six-figure investment in the pilot project and for good reason. Thanks to the electric drive, the vehicle generates almost no fine particle pollution and operates very quietly. In addition, the Allison-equipped truck delivers advantages as drivers negotiate Munich’s dense traffic and narrow streets. The 40-ton automatic truck shuttles between SCHERMS’s logistics center and BMW’s plant about 3 km (1.86 miles) away eight times daily during the work week.
“The truck has a maximum speed of 40 kph (25 mph), but city traffic slows down the average speed,” said Zoellner. “The Allison transmission provides significant relief during transports because the truck is simple to drive and easy to maneuver. The drivers particularly appreciate the smooth, seamless launch.”
The YT202-EV transports components for BMW automobiles, such as shock absorbers, springs and steering systems in two shifts, from 6 a.m. to midnight. The short, repetitive duty cycles are well-suited to the electric truck. With a range of up to 100 km when the battery is fully charged, it can complete the 48 km route per day without pausing to be charged. At night, the batteries are charged for three to four hours with 100-percent green electricity at SCHERM’s own charging station.
Electric motor and Allison – an ideal combination
The heart of the fully-electric YT202-EV terminal tractor is the Siemens liquid-cooled, three-phase synchronous motor (614 V) with a maximum power rating of 138 kilowatts (188 hp). According to Erik-Wim Vos, electric vehicle manager at Terberg Benschop in the Netherlands, the Allison 3000 Series fully automatic transmission is the key to this driveline.
“The electric truck should launch with a gross combination weight of up to 65 tons and must achieve maximum speed as quickly as possible,” he said. “In this circumstance, the Allison fully automatic transmission with torque multiplication and full power shifts makes the difference. Moreover we use the live Power Take-Off (PTO) provision to drive the hydraulic pump, which saves an additional electric generator.”
In other words, without an Allison transmission, a direct drive with a larger and significantly more expensive engine would have been required for the YT202-EV. The Allison 3000 Series is also the exclusive transmission solution used in conventional YT towing tractors.
Electric truck spreads in Europe
To date, twenty YT202-EV terminal tractors are in operation throughout Europe, including Denmark, Switzerland, Germany and the Netherlands, with additional vehicles due for delivery this year. Since July 2014, logistics service provider Berliner Hafen- und Lagergesellschaft mbH (BEHALA) has used a YT202-EV to transport containers from Berlin’s Westhafen (Western Harbor) to destinations across the city. However, the electric trucks in other countries are used primarily by food companies, including Migros, Ferrero and Bakker Barendrecht (Univeg).
Erik-Wim Vos estimates future interest in the electric terminal tractor will be very high. “Due to the promising feedback from our clients and the huge environmental advantages, we expect increasing demand.”
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