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Renault Trucks and Norbert Dentressangle testing 16t series hybrid electric truck

Series hybrid 16-t truck. Click to enlarge.

Renault Trucks is working with Norbert Dentressangle, a major transport, logistics and freight forwarding company, to develop and to test a 16-tonne series hybrid electric truck. Developed on a Midlum chassis, the vehicle has an all-electric range of up to 60 km (37 miles), with a total operating range of more than 400 kilometers (249 miles).

The vehicle will be tested from June 2013 to January 2014 in the Paris region on behalf of ThyssenKrupp Materials France. This project is part of the continued technology partnership between Renault Trucks, PVI and IFP Energies nouvelles.

The truck is fitted with a PVI (Power Vehicle Integration) electric powertrain with an asynchronous 103 kW / 400V electric motor, an 85 kWh lithium iron phosphate battery pack (138 Ah / 615 V) and a diesel DXi 5 engine combined with a 70 kW generator. This generator produces electricity to recharge the batteries while the vehicle is running and ensures EV-range during the delivery round.

Regenerative braking or deceleration also puts electricity into the batteries. The batteries are rechargeable in about four hours on the electrical network via a three-phase supply of 380 V and 64A.

In operation, the truck has a payload of 6 tons, and will be dedicated to the transport of steel bars, steel pallets, and steel plates. Its duties will be carried out between 5 am and 2 pm on a daily 170 to 220 km (106 to 137 mile) course in the northwest of the Île-de-France with twenty customers of ThyssenKrupp Materials France.

With the hybrid management program developed by IFP Energies nouvelles, the diesel engine always operates in the most optimized way for vehicle consumption and therefore to reduce CO2 emissions. The controls optimize power flow around the battery, decide whether it is appropriate to turn on or turn off the engine depending on the situation, especially in urban areas, and place it on a optimum operating point. The main objective is to allow the vehicle to have reduced consumption all along the route and a limited level of noise in urban areas.

Several modes of energy management board are available and the driver can choose in real time between two modes:

  • Automatic. This is the default mode of operation. The controls automatically charge the battery by starting and stopping the range extender. The system continuously optimizes energy management, electricity and heat to minimize the overall power consumption. The control commands are based on data from the circuit and zero-emission delivery areas which have been previously indicated.

  • Manual. The driver can activate at any time 100% electric mode, including delivery in restricted urban areas. A specific display screen and an additional use interface for the driver to monitor and visualize the energy flow.

Expected results of this experiment are:

  • About a 30% reduction in CO2 emissions compared to an equivalent diesel vehicle, taking into account the total task similar to that of a diesel vehicle mobility while ensuring availability of energy when the vehicle is stationary.

  • A significant improvement in noise levels in accordance with the expectations of residents, which should enable client users to extend their operating range of staggered hours or overnight.

This vehicle is the second experimental vehicle from the close collaboration between Renault Trucks, PVI and IFP Energies nouvelles. It was developed as part of the Melodys project, supported by the research fund demonstrators ADEME.



If the price is reasonable, the battery could cover half the mileage.


With charging support at loading/unloading spots, it could extend the electric range much further.  This would be particularly useful in the early morning hours, when surpluses of electric power are often available.

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