If the electrification of trucks is not progressing quickly enough, then let's electrify the trailers.
CATL is developing a battery system for Trailer Dynamics' electrified trailers (semi-trailers with integrated electric drive unit and energy storage), which are scheduled for market launch in Germany/Europe in 2023 to electrify long-haul trucks.
The Trailer Dynamics Newton eTrailer will be equipped with CATL's latest lithium iron phosphate (LFP) batteries in the all-new cell to pack (CTP) design to achieve energy density of 155 Wh/kg on a pack level. The battery capacity will be around 300 kWh (so under 2,000 kg total) and - interestingly - liquid cooled.
CATL points out that extraordinary long cycle life of LFP battery cells is one of the main factors to achieve lower total cost of ownership (TCO) of the final solution.
Having an electrified trailer might be an interesting approach to improve fuel consumption of hybrid trucks, or enable all-electric ones to drive long-distance, although we don't know details about how it will work. For sure it would have to be closely integrated with the truck.
Because the electrification of the trailers/vehicles increases the importance of efficiency, the Newton eTrailer will also be much more aerodynamic than a conventional trailer - with fully covered sides and rear flaps.
The Chinese manufacturer is actively seeking commercial vehicle customers for CTP batteries so we should see more of those coming soon.