RENAULT TRUCKS’ SUCCESSFUL ECO TOUR REASSERTS ITS LEADERSHIP IN PUBLIC AUTHORITY ACTIVITIES
Building on its leadership position in the main markets for vehicles used by local and regional authorities, this autumn Renault Trucks launched the first edition of its Eco Tour. Designed to highlight its Clean Tech solutions using alternative energies (electric, hybrid or NGV) and the manufacturer's Optifuel Solutions, the Eco-Tour featured 11 vehicles, 8 of which were available for test driving. It was an outstanding success in France, with more than 300 customers attending the Tour's three major stages in the South, the West and Paris region. Committed for several years to the environment and development of alternative energies, the Tour gave Renault Trucks an opportunity to convince future local and regional authority buyers that its alternative energy solutions are particularly relevant in the current context. They were also able to appreciate the manufacturer's capacity to offer very practical, inexpensive and easy to implement solutions that significantly reduce diesel vehicles' consumption.
Respect for the environment and savings in fuel consumption are among the highest priorities for regional authorities when they are replacing their fleets of Light Commercial or Heavy Duty vehicles. A pioneer in this field, Renault Trucks wanted to emphasise its leadership on local and regional authority markets via the Eco Tour by going out to meet these authorities' purchasers to present its "Public Authority" range. This initiative resulted in over 300 customers coming to the Tour’s three stages, which took place in Poitiers, Paris and Marseille.
The Eco Tour caravan was made up of no fewer than 11 vehicles, 8 of which were available for test drives so that customers could fully appreciate their advantages under real life conditions for themselves. The vehicles concerned came from the Delivery and Distribution ranges with bodies adapted to public authorities’ activities: a Renault Master removable tipper, a Renault Maxity RCV (Refuse Collection Vehicle), a Renault Maxity electric panel van, a Renault Access chassis cab, a Renault Access RCV, a Renault Midlum NGV (Natural Gas for Vehicles) chassis cab, a Renault Midlum sweeper/washer, a Renault Midlum FPT (Fire Tender), a Renault Premium Distribution Hybrys Tech RCV, two Renault Premium Distribution RCVs and a Renault Premium Lander sewer flusher.
The three stages covered the largest areas of the country. Customers from the North and the Paris region all met up at Saulx-les-Chartreux in the Essonne département (91), those from Western regions at the Futuroscope convention centre in Vienne (86) and those from the south-eastern quadrant at Aix Mallemort in Bouches-du-Rhône (13). The customers reasserted their interest in vehicles using new technologies, particularly praising the Renault Maxity electric which was test driven between 20 and 25 times a day - more than any other vehicle on the Eco Tour. They also greatly appreciated discussions around Renault Trucks Optifuel Solutions, which are synonymous with significant fuel savings.
Solutions Optifuel: Optifuel Technology & Optifuel Programme
Optifuel Technology incorporates the best of Renault Trucks' technology related to fuel savings, such as: SCR (Selective Catalytic Reduction), the Optidriver+ and Optitronic robotised gearboxes, the engine idle shut down, the Euro V (DXi 5, DXi 7, DXi 11 and DXi 13) engines, as well as accessories dedicated to reducing fuel consumption.
Optifuel Programme is a comprehensive programme of services giving businesses, public organisations or public authorities all the tools and expertise they need to make immediate and consistent fuel savings. It consists of instruction in rational driving (Optifuel Training), measurement software (Optifuel Infomax) and access to an exclusive Internet site (the Club Optifuel Programme). Optifuel Programme is now the most cost-efficient solution on the market for generating sustainable fuel savings.
Optifuel Programme is a service which was first of all deployed for the Long Distance, Construction and Distribution ranges. It is particularly suited to local and regional authorities’ refuse collection and street maintenance activities, since the adoption of “rational” driving – as recommended by the Optifuel Training programme – encourages a smoother, more economical and safer driving style, while at the same time reducing CO2 emissions. For example, by implementing Optifuel Programme, the town of Cannes (France) was able to address the environmental and economic issues generated by driving in an urban environment.
Renault Trucks makes this offer available throughout Europe. There are now 300 companies of all sizes - representing as many as 14,000 drivers - which have chosen the Optifuel Programme in Europe and therefore enjoy its distinctive advantages: a reduction in consumption of up to 15% for an entire fleet.
The Clean Tech label: proof of commitment for customers
Long committed to research into and the development of alternative solutions to all-diesel, Renault Trucks are now introducing a new label to identify its vehicles that use alternative propulsion technologies: Clean Tech. Written in white against a blue background, this label will be applied to all Renault Trucks vehicles using 100 % electrical energy, hybrid technology or natural gas. The manufacturer has also started issuing labels to its network of repairers. The aim is to guarantee customers a quality of service associated with these new technologies on a par with that provided for the other vehicles in its ranges.
As part of a broad partnership agreement aimed at developing electrically-powered HGVs and LCVs, Renault Trucks, together with PVI and EDF, has developed an electrical vehicle offering based on the Maxity. This has two distinct advantages: the total lack of atmosphere-polluting and CO2 emissions and the absence of any sound pollution. These vehicles can therefore be operated at night and in restricted low emission zones.
The Renault Maxity electric can reach a maximum speed of 90 km/h and has an operating range of 100 km. It is fitted with an asynchronous motor, a robotised gearbox and latest generation Lithium Ion batteries. The first Maxity electric was delivered to Tafanel in May 2010. This company is the leading distributor of beverages in Paris, supplying the capital with over 300 million drinks. Renault Trucks is planning to gradually introduce these vehicles onto certain European markets between 2010 and 2011.
Hybrid technology combines the advantages offered by the Diesel engine with those of the electric motor. The second takes over from the first when moving off and up to a speed of around 30 km/h, in other words during those phases when the internal combustion engine uses the most energy and generates the most noise. The hybrid vehicle therefore uses less fuel (saving up to 20%) and is quieter. Furthermore, it is able to store the energy produced when the vehicle is braking or decelerating and recover it when the vehicle moves off again. It is particularly suitable for service and urban transport vehicles (refuse collection and distribution vehicles).
Tested on the Premium Distribution Hybrys Tech, this technology is in the development stage and two vehicles are currently undergoing trials with the construction company Colas, in a 4x2 tipper configuration, and in Brussels with Coca Cola Enterprise Belgium in a 6x2*4 panel van configuration. Renault Trucks’ aim is to provide customers with hybrid vehicles so that they can test this technology under actual operating conditions for very different types of application in an urban environment. The information gathered from these tests is extremely important, and since the first generation vehicle was put into service operating as a refuse collector in the streets of Greater Lyon with SITA (SUEZ Environment), a huge amount of progress has been made.
NGV (Natural Gas for Vehicles)
Heavy duty vehicles operating on natural gas for vehicles (NGV) generate significantly lower noise levels and are completely odour-free: They are particularly suited to urban applications (public transport, deliveries, street maintenance and waste collection).
In France, Renault Trucks is one of the public authorities' major partners. Due to the technical solutions it is able to offer them, the manufacturer holds a 70% market share in the sale of vehicles to this sector. Building on the close relationship it maintains with its customers, Renault Trucks therefore took the initiative to go out and meet them in 2010, presenting 11 vehicles covering all the solutions that meet their needs. And because the solutions of the future are developed in the present, Renault Trucks also presented its Clean Tech vehicles powered by alternative technologies (all electric, hybrid and NGV).