Mercedes-Benz Vans, together with Austrian Post, is testing fine particle filter technology developed in cooperation with MANN+HUMMEL in real-life operations. In August, two eSprinter operated by Austrian Post (Österreichische Post), the country’s major provider of postal services, were equipped with integrated fine particle filters in the front module.
Since then, the all-electric vans have been out and about in Graz every day and have now covered a total of almost 6,400 km on their delivery routes. The vans complete their routes in weekly rotation, thereby determining representative values for the fine particle concentration via the fine particle sensors installed.
The routes lead from the postal logistics center in Kalsdorf to the city center of Graz and back. On a tour, each of the two eSprinter delivers an average of 160 parcels and stops just under 100 times. Further results from the test operation are expected in mid-2023.
The technology for this pilot project comes from the development of the Mercedes-Benz Vans technology platform SUSTAINEER. (Earlier post.) The technology platform presented at the end of 2021 is equipped with two fine particle filters to compensate for tire, brake and asphalt abrasion. The filter technology was developed in cooperation with the filtration specialist MANN+HUMMEL, and compensates for fine particle emissions in the immediate vicinity of the vehicle, down to a particle size of ten micrometers (PM10). The effectiveness of the filtration increases further with higher levels of particulate matter in the environment. This means that in urban areas with poorer air quality, far greater quantities of particulate matter can be filtered out.
After inspection, MANN+HUMMEL determined that the filters are undamaged and without deformation. Since the start of the pilot project, the eSprinter have been in use for almost 60 days and have each filtered around 6,400 milligrams of dust from the ambient air.
This makes it clear, after just a few weeks of test operation, that the use of the filters in this urban delivery situation is a suitable use case. The fine particles are filtered out close to the source, i.e. where the concentration level in the city is highest.
In addition to the durability of the filters, the pilot project will also analyze the effects on the vehicles.
The durability of the filters was confirmed by pressure loss measurements and a load condition of 15% was determined. So far, there are no restrictions in operation and in order to gather further insights, the pilot project will run until mid-2023.
The Institute of Energy and Environmental Technology (IUTA) in the German city of Duisburg is providing scientific support for the project. The filters are regularly checked on site by Mercedes-Benz Vans and filtration specialists Mann+Hummel.
The initiative fits seamlessly into Austrian Post’s smart overall concept, known as “Green Graz”. Since November 2021, the Austrian postal fleet in Graz has been exclusively using all-electric vehicles for the delivery of parcels, letters, advertising mail and print media, ensuring that these are delivered with zero local CO2 emissions. The pilot project is intended to show how these successes can be further optimized. By 2030, Austrian Post plans to use only all-electric vehicles for deliveries throughout the country. Since spring of this year, the only additions to the fleet have been all-electric delivery vehicles.