Bosch is electrifying semitrailers, pushing electromobility into even today's semi trucks

Later this year, at the IAA Commercial Vehicles in Hannover, Bosch will be presenting an electrified axle that can easily be integrated into semitrailers.

The idea is to utilize the semitrailer’s axles, which are now simply rolling freely and unused, by integrating an electrical machine. In turn, this can then produce electricity during braking, and feed it into the trailer’s power units. According to Bosch, when used with a refrigerated trailer, this solution can result in savings of as much as 10,000 euros a year with as much as 9,000 liters of diesel fuel saved per year.

Furthermore, another positive effect of this solution is that the trucker can use an electrical start and acceleration boost function, which, in turn, helps save even more. Naturally, this provides a hefty reduction of CO2 emissions as well. Furthermore, when used with delivery trucks set for the urban environments, when heading to supermarkets, these electric cooling refrigeration units are much quieter than their diesel-powered counterparts. This allows for early morning or late night delivery to be performed, all without too much disturbance for the neighborhood.

“Bosch is making trucks’ rear axles electric and smart. Our electrification solution for trucks makes economic sense and shows how electromobility can work even in today’s trucks.” Dr. Markus Heyn, member of the Robert Bosch GmbH board of management

Bosch electromobility for semitrailers Image 1

The German industrial giant is also eyeing another step toward automated trailer parking on logistics companies’ parking lots thanks in part to the axle electrification. With a powertrain added to an axle, the need for a tractor to shunt the trailer around the parking lot is negated, saving both costs and time. While the tech is currently offered for new trailers or as part of a retrofit option, the possibilities and demand is huge. According to Automotive World, there are roughly a quarter of a million trailers with a gross vehicle weight of more than 10 metric tons are newly registered every year in Europe alone. For those, one in five comes with a refrigeration unit, making for an impressive amount of vehicles that could benefit from such a solution.

Source: Automotive World