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Electric truck: 26-ton truck from DAF overcomes the Grossglockner High Alpine Road


Heavy trucks with electric drives are still rare. In Austria, a truck has now proven that battery technology is also ready for extreme mountain journeys.

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Extreme test: electric truck on the Großglocknerstrasse

Photo: Franz Neumayr

Normally one only drives on the Grossglockner High Alpine Road for pleasure.

If you have to get from A to B between Salzburg and Carinthia, you can take the Tauernbahn at valley level or the parallel motorway with tunnels through the main Alpine ridge.

There is no reason for trucks to wind their way up to an altitude of 2500 meters over the old pass road with several switchbacks.

A truck was still on the road there on Sunday: a battery-powered 26-ton CF Electric model from the Dutch manufacturer DAF, which belongs to the US company Paccar.

The model has been in series production since 2018 and has been further developed since then, as have all-electric tractors from DAF for a gross vehicle weight of up to 37 tonnes.

Such vehicles are already being used successfully by several companies and municipalities in various European countries for distribution and scheduled transport, explained the Salzburg commercial vehicle dealer Tschann.

Daily ranges of 500 kilometers with charging in between are not a problem.

In Austria, customers showed interest in zero-emissions solutions for freight transport, "but at the same time they were skeptical as to whether the vehicles, which have already proven themselves in the lowlands, could also be used in a mountainous country like Austria," says Tschann, Managing Director Enrico Simma.

Hence the high mountain challenge: "Where better to show how much reliable power is in an electric truck?" said Simma.

Johannes Hörl from the board of directors of the road operator Grohag spoke of an "epochal performance test".

From Salzburg, the truck had already covered 113 kilometers and an altitude difference of 730 meters to the Ferleiten checkout at the beginning of the toll road.

There, the battery, which had been emptied to a residual capacity of 34 percent, was fully charged again before the actual route started: over 68 kilometers with 3350 meters in altitude and up to twelve percent incline, to the Kaiser-Franz-Josefs-Höhe on the other side of the main Alpine ridge and back.

The mountain tour drove up power consumption: the articulated lorry with a maximum output of 326 hp drew an average of 1.77 kWh per kilometer on the journey, while consumption rose to 2.7 kWh on the high mountain journey.

But at the end of the journey, the battery still showed a charge level of 45 percent, also thanks to the recuperation of energy from braking during the descent.

This also spared the brakes, and the journey through the Hohe Tauern National Park was emission-free and quiet.

Even with today's technology, such journeys are possible without any problems, so the conclusion.

The only argument against this is the high investment costs for new trucks and charging infrastructure, which are also to be subsidized by the state in Austria from August.

"Not only individual mobility, but also the movement of goods will develop very quickly in the direction of e-mobility from now on," predicted Grohag board member Hörl.


Source: spiegel

All tech articles on 2022-07-04

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