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Text: Oliver Schönfeld
How reliable is an electric drive in the axle? Are the ranges sufficient for day-to-day long-distance transport? How will the customers respond – and what do drivers think of the electrified drive system of the future? A six-month practical test of the BPW eTransport axle at Hellmann Worldwide Logistics has returned some revealing results.
The electric revolution is making quiet progress in commercial vehicles and – as it silently glides along the roads – it is therefore all the more sustainable. Matthias Magnor, Chief Operating Officer Road & Rail at Hellmann Worldwide Logistics in Osnabrück is convinced. ‘Our industry has a shared obligation to try out new things and to find sustainable drive concepts to suit the needs of the different areas of logistics in which they are used,’ says the logistics expert. When BPW Bergische Achsen suggested testing the eTransport electronic axle in real-life conditions, they were welcomed with open arms by Hellmann: ‘We are delighted with the trusting relationship. Collaborating with BPW was perfect; the teams worked together in harmony.’
Six months of harsh everyday operation
Both partners were agreed from the start that this wasn’t about fair-weather test drives. The 7.5-tonne test vehicle supplied by BPW was therefore integrated straight into the everyday processes at Hellmann for a whole six months, starting with frosty temperatures in February 2019 and reaching the heat of midsummer in August. By selecting Bielefeld, Lehrte and Osnabrück, Hellmann also chose three locations that put very different demands on the electric-only drive and the batteries. ‘There was a bit of everything, from city traffic to plenty of country roads, with very different topographies and routes. This meant that we could gather valuable experience in practice,’ continues Magnor.