Nestlé Switzerland and Renault Trucks stage the world preview of a groundbreaking experimental vehicle nicknamed the e-Truck, on the Federal Square in Berne. This truck combines an all-electric 13t Renault Midlum developed by Renault Trucks with a refrigerated body that is also entirely powered by electricity. A second identical vehicle will be joining the Nestlé Switzerland fleet in September. These two vehicles will be tested distributing ice creams and refrigerated Nestlé Frisco-Findus refrigerated products to shops in the Zürich and Lausanne regions. By using these two trucks that have no equal in the field of urban goods transport, Renault Trucks and Nestlé Switzerland are making a joint statement in favour of cleaner transport in Switzerland.
There is no single solution to meeting the major challenges urban goods transport has to face. As Heinz-Jürgen Löw explained when presenting this Midlum electric, it is a question of "Putting the right truck, with the right energy, in the right place at the right time." This involves innovation in organising transport systems just as much as technical improvements to vehicles and associated services. This joint effort being made by Nestlé Switzerland and Renault Trucks will make it possible to test and validate the latest generations of batteries, optimise components and seek the most favourable compromises before going on to a new stage of research into this type of vehicle.
Eugenio Simioni, the managing director of Nestlé Switzerland, laid particular emphasis on the "quiet and emission free" aspects of these two vehicles which "mark a new milestone in the supply chain". They will make it possible for the Frisco logistics team to go even further towards their goal of reducing CO2 emissions, which so far has involved optimising delivery scheduling and economic driving. Green electricity will also be made part of the equation. For, under the terms of a partnership agreement with Romande energy, Nestlé is planning to install several thousand square metres of photovoltaic panels on a number of its administrative buildings at Vevey and la Tour-de-Peliz by the end of the year. This will provide sufficient energy to run the equivalent of some 30 electric trucks for a whole year! The electricity which is actually generated will be fed into the Romande Energy grid and contribute to the amount of renewable energy produced and consumed in the region.
The two vehicles made available to the Frisco team will be able to carry 3 t of ice cream and refrigerated products. They will be called upon to supply between 30 and 50 sales outlets every day over a distance of between 60 and 100 km. The first truck will come into service in the Zürich region in July and the second in September operating in and around Lausanne.
Particularly at home in an urban environment, these 13t Midlum electric vehicles are equipped with a refrigeration unit which also runs on electricity. When being operated, they therefore produce no polluting emissions or CO2 and they run almost completely silently. Their electric motor develops a power of 103 kW. These vehicles can reach a maximum speed of 90 km/h and have a system of recovering energy during braking. The two lithium-ion battery packs have a total capacity of 170 kwh, giving them an operating range of around 140 km, with recharging taking eight hours using a standard power outlet.
These experimental vehicles, which are not designed for the market, are part of Renault Trucks' ongoing research into developing and testing different solutions to improve goods transport. For in view of the challenges urban goods transport now has to face, Renault Trucks is aiming to provide a global response. First of all, by offering its customers a range based on optimised vehicles powered by highly efficient internal combustion engines which consume as little fuel as possible. In addition, it is also offering alternative solutions to Diesel which respond to environmental challenges via vehicles with the Clean Tech label (Maxity Electric, Premium Distribution hybrid and the Premium Distribution CNG). Renault Trucks also intends to go further as a manufacturer, for example by supplying drivers with tools for smartphones or by contributing, in concert with other main road transport players, to experimental projects designed to improve urban goods transport. In other words, Renault Trucks is indeed making every effort to put the right truck, with the right energy, in the right place at the right time.