Multinational drive & energy innovators Danfoss and chums have completed an epic E-convoy led by the firm’s 20 tonne electric lorry, in what the firm calls the world’s biggest electric road trip.

Over three days last week, a fleet of 48 EVs headed by Danfoss’ 17 metre E-lorry, lightly customised, rounded off an 800 mile e-excursion from southern Denmark to Le Mans, just in time to witness France’s eponymous 24-hour endurance race.

Composed entirely of electric vehicles, and starting from the engineering group’s HQ in Nordborg, the e-exodus was organised on a non-profit basis by GodEnergi, suppliers of electric infrastructure to operators of heavy transport.

Dispelling range anxiety, and shattering EV myths slowing the electrification of Europe’s heaviest shifters of road freight, were motivators for the e-expedition.

Truckers urged to Lego of their prejudices

“48% of trucks in Denmark drive less than 300 kilometers (190 miles) per day.  And 62% of all HGV journeys across the EU are under 400km/250 miles”, Torben Christensen, Danfoss’ head of sustainability explained.

“We see neither technological nor practical barriers to converting (road freight) to fully electric trucks”, he continued, citing the International Energy Agency’s figure that trucks & heavy transport emitted 1.776 million tonnes of CO2 in 2020. Yet 45% of all goods transported by road in Europe travel less than 300km.

From Nordborg, the amp-happy motorists crossed into Germany, reaching the Netherlands for an overnight stop.

“For a large number of journeys, there’s no reason for range anxiety”, said Christensen. “And electrification of heavy transport will make a significant contribution to the green transition.”

All aspects of the e-effusion functioned on amps and coulombs. Truckers relied on power from the EVs for their overnight stays, including barbecuing meat on electric grills.

Lurking amid the Lurpak, one or two drivers breakfasted the next morning on Danissssshhh fried “bacon og æg”. Translation available here.

The E-expedition pushed south into Belgium and then to Le Mans, south-west of Paris.

“We are 115 participants who love motorsport and cars”, said Jan Darville, GodEnergi’s CEO, speaking with e-ebullience.

“At the same time we want to prove it is possible to cover long distances in electric vehicles. The technology and the opportunities are there. We are pleased to be joined by Danfoss and their electric truck since their company is famous for their electrification solutions”.

Normally Danfoss’ E-truck serves internal ferrying only, carrying loads between the engineering firm’s factories and warehouses.

Chief among enhancements from Danfoss’ portfolio added to the 20-tonne truck included the firm’s ED3 onboard charger and power supply, as fitted to Volvo’s electric trucks.  The device speeds overnight charging from standard AC mains, a key enabler in electrifying heavy road transport. The ED3’s 43 kW rating allows recharging within 9 hours from conventional C sockets. Capital costs to truck stop operators can thus be minimised.

The ED3 also acts drives power-consuming auxiliary functions such as refrigeration in trailers and compactors on refuse trucks.

“For best productivity, charging infrastructure should be established at locations such as freight terminals, so that loading time is equal to charging time”, Christensen went on.

Aarhus, in the middle of our street

As Jerry Garcia og Bob Weir sang – though not in Danish – in “de Taknemmelig Død’’’s anthemic song ‘Trucking’;

“Sikke en lang, mærkelig tur det har været!” / “What a long, strange trip it’s been”.

In other news in the European Championships 2024, Denmark kick off against England in their top-of-Group-C clash in Frankfurt on Thursday 20 June. Kick-off is 17:00 hrs UK time.


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