Renault Trucks has recently deployed another all-electric D Wide Z.E. truck in Switzerland, which was acquired by the Swiss haulier Rhyner Logistik.

A cool thing about this particular project is that Rhyner Logistik has retrofitted the truck with solar panels (26) on the roof to power the refrigeration unit.

We don't know how much power they will generate (a few kW at peak we guess), but it's a brilliant idea to convert the sunlight (which would normally heat the vehicle) to electricity to cool the cargo.

"To take its virtuous approach one step further, Rhyner Logistik decided to have solar panels fitted onto the vehicle body to provide green energy for the refrigeration unit. This system is particularly suited to temperature-controlled transport, because it is when outside temperatures are high – and the sun is therefore strong – that the cooling is most needed."

Renault Trucks: 26-ton D Wide Z.E. fitted with solar panels in Rhyner Logistik fleet
Renault Trucks: 26-ton D Wide Z.E. fitted with solar panels in Rhyner Logistik fleet

Of course, it would be great to power the entire vehicle that way, but it will not happen even if the panels had 100% efficiency. For driving, it must be charged from an external electricity source.

Hopefully, the 26-ton D Wide Z.E. will meet the expectations. Rhyner Logistik operates a fleet of 100 trucks so electrification of the rest depends on the results of the first one.

Renault Trucks: 26-ton D Wide Z.E. specs:

  • Real-world operating range: up to 180 km (112 miles)
  • Energy storage: lithium-ion batteries, 200-265 kWh
  • GVW: 26 tonnes. Weight: 27 tonnes
  • Available wheelbase: 3,900 mm
  • Two electric motors with a total rating of 370 kW (260 kW continuous output)
  • Maximum torque of electric motors: 850 Nm
  • Maximum torque rear axle: 28 kNm
  • Two-speed gearbox
  • a counterpart of the Volvo FE Electric
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