BMW Group Logistik sets a benchmark in electric semi-trailer tests.

BMW Group Logistik and Trailer Dynamics have successfully field-tested an electric semi-trailer, achieving remarkable fuel savings of over 46% on short and medium hauls and 48% on long-distance routes.

BMW Group Logistik sets a benchmark in electric semi-trailer tests.

Germany-  BMW Group Logistik., an auotmobile manufacturer in a groundbreaking collaboration with Trailer Dynamics, a technology innovator, has successfully field-tested an electrically powered semi-trailer across diverse terrains and distances within real-world logistics operations. The results were remarkable, with the diesel truck utilized achieving remarkable average fuel savings of over 46% on short and medium hauls, and an impressive 48% on long-distance routes. The innovative combination of an electric tractor and e-trailer also delivered an astounding range of over 600 kilometers without recharging.

Michael Nikolaides, Head of BMW Group Production Network and Logistics., said that, As the BMW Group, we are – as the first German car manufacturer – a member of the ‘Business Ambition for 1.5°C’ of the Science-Based Targets Initiative and are committed to the target of complete climate neutrality throughout the entire value chain. Therefore, we are using visionary projects to consistently accelerate the BMW Group’s Green Transport Logistics strategy. The pilot testing with Trailer Dynamics’ e-trailer showed that using this kind of electrified semi-trailer significantly reduces the fuel consumption of standard diesel tractors and noticeably increases the range of e-trucks.

The e-trailer, designed by Trailer Dynamics in Eschweiler near Aachen, differs significantly from traditional semi-trailers. It comes equipped with its own battery and electric drive axle, which complements the semi-truck's engine. Integrated sensors on the kingpin ensure optimal load distribution, enhancing fuel efficiency. The e-trailer's powered axle further contributes to fuel savings during acceleration and on inclines. Even when paired with a diesel truck, the e-trailer ensures a reliable power supply, even if its battery depletes.

During the four-day tests on medium-distance routes around the BMW Group's Dingolfing location, the logistics service provider Gahr International facilitated round-trip transports, covering up to 250 kilometers daily. This marked the first instance of automated and simultaneous data collection from both the e-trailer and tractor, resulting in a substantial average diesel consumption reduction of 46.59%.

The long-distance trials, carried out between Leipzig and Mamming with a load exceeding 16 tons, transported energy modules for BMW electric vehicles across a 450-kilometer distance, primarily on highways. The results were even more astonishing, with an average diesel savings of over 48% compared to conventional trailers carrying an equivalent load. Importantly, the e-trailer's battery was charged using 100% green energy, making it a significant contributor to CO2 reduction when used on a broader scale.

The ultimate goal of achieving a 100% reduction in CO2 emissions during long-distance routes becomes achievable when combining an e-trailer with an electric tractor powered by 100% green electricity. This was validated in a test conducted in the Dingolfing region using a Volvo e-truck, which, with a standard load, achieved a remarkable driving distance of over 600 kilometers without the need for recharging.

While e-trailers tend to be heavier, impacting payload capacity, these limitations are offset, in part, by an increase in the permissible total weight for trailers in the EU. The initial higher acquisition costs of e-trailers are countered by lower operating expenses, particularly on long-haul routes, making them a compelling solution for decarbonizing fleets and reducing costs simultaneously.

Abdullah Jaber, CEO and Managing Director Trailer Dynamics GmbH., said that, Trailer Dynamics’ vision is to make a significant contribution to decarbonising the economy with e-trailers and to promote sustainable, and ideally zero-emission, logistics. With our partner BMW and the forwarding agents Gahr International and Elflein Spedition & Transport, with these test drives we are taking the next important step in making our vision a reality