MindsinMotion.net. Cargohopper, an electric vehicle distributing cargo in Utrecht city, has equipped its package compartments with two solar panels each. Under normal weather conditions, the six panels should be able to supply sufficient energy for the Cargohopper to make its daily round, according to Henk Harthold.
“The interesting challenge of this pilot will come this winter,” said Harthold. “Then the panels must show what they're worth. We’ll probably place another panel on the pull cart itself by then. We lacked the time to do so now.”
Cargohopper is a vehicle that is able to tow 3 metric tonnes in a linear line by means of a 48V, 28 hp (20 kW) electric motor. Its max speed is 20 km/h (12 mph)—sufficient as it only drives in the inner city of Utrecht and does not drive more than 60 km max daily. The three trailers are steered on both axles which gives it a great maneuverability.
Cargohopper says the vehicle, which is designed for package delivery, is able to do the work of 5 to 8 regular (European-sized) vans. The three containers are separate boxes that can be put on and of the undercarriages by means of a forklift. The boxes are preloaded outside the city in the Cargohoppers Distribution Centre and towed to the boarder of the inner city by means of a regular truck.
Once empty, Cargohopper collects dry carton, paper and empty packaging from shops for recycling so it never runs empty.
(A hat-tip to Stefan!)