From left: Markus Schell (BPW Bergische Achsen KG), Matthias Magnor (Hellmann Worldwide Logistics) and Prof. Dr. Sabine Bruns-Vietor (Hochschule Osnabrück)
From left: Markus Schell (BPW Bergische Achsen KG), Matthias Magnor (Hellmann Worldwide Logistics) and Prof. Dr. Sabine Bruns-Vietor (Hochschule Osnabrück)

Hellmann and Bergisch Achsen KG start field tests with retro-fitted electric motor for commercial vehicles

As part of an innovation cooperation, the globally operating logistics service provider, Hellmann Worldwide Logistics, and one of the world’s largest manufacturer of trailer running gears, BPW Bergische Achsen KG, are starting a joint practical trial: they are bringing the eTransport, an electric motor axle recently developed by BPW, onto the roads. What sets it apart is that the electrically operated axle enables the conversion of conventional, diesel-powered commercial vehicles and therefore represents a genuine innovation in terms of sustainability – not only from a technical, but also from an economic and environmental perspective.

As part of the field test, the use of an electrically powered van will be tested over a period of six months in various topographies, and with varying tour configurations for inner-city delivery. The MB Vario, which has been specially converted for Hellmann, will be deployed for around two months in the pilot branches of Osnabrück, Lehrte and Bielefeld. With its two axle-integrated asynchronous motors, the vehicle boasts more than 150 kW (equalling around 200 PS) and allows a range of 100 km to be covered with a usable load of 3 tonnes using an 80 kWh lithium-ion battery.

The logistics company Hellmann has been working on innovative, sustainable logistics approaches for several years now. By cooperating with institutes from science, research and industry, the aim is to find a real alternative to diesel motors for the Hellmann vehicle fleet in the medium-term; one that stands up to both economical and environmental criteria.

BPW won numerous innovation prizes with the eTransport axle, which was presented for the very first time at the IAA 2016. Thanks to the compact installation of motors and gears in the axle and the advantageous position of the motor close to the wheel, this is an impressive solution which optimises the manoeuvrability of the vehicle with active assisted steering. The eTransport solution can be integrated into existing vehicles, such as the MB Vario for example, and therefore gives expensive special vehicles a second life free of emissions. In conjunction with the experts, Paul Nutzfahrzeuge, BPW has announced that the standard conversion of these vehicle types will begin by the end of the year.

“We see electro-mobility as a possible key technology in the implementation of sustainable logistics approaches, which at the same time provides our customers with more flexibility. Based on the threat of diesel bans in inner-city areas and the increasing demand amongst customers for green logistics solutions, this field test gives us real data and experience regarding the use of new motor technology,” says Mathias Magnor, Chief Operating Officer Road & Rail, Hellmann Worldwide Logistics.

Markus Schell, personally liable managing partner of BPW: “We are delighted that Hellmann, as a globally operating logistics service provider which is devoted to sustainability, has chosen our solution. This means that together we can gain highly valued knowledge about various practical requirements and use it for further development before we start with series conversion of diesel vehicles from the end of this year.”

About BPW Bergische Achsen Kommanditgesellschaft
BPW Bergische Achsen Kommanditgesellschaft is the parent company of the BPW Group. With over 1,600 staff, including around 120 apprentices, the family-owned company has been developing and producing complete running gear systems for truck trailers and semi-trailers at its headquarters in Wiehl since 1898. BPW’s technologies include axle systems, braking technology, suspension and bearings. BPW’s trailer axles and running gear systems are in use in millions of vehicles around the world. An extensive range of services also provides vehicle manufacturers and vehicle operators with the opportunity to increase the efficiency of their production and transport processes.