French transport tech developer Adgero has unveiled what it claims is the world’s first operational energy-saving, hybrid electric system for road transport.
The regenerative braking-powered UltraBoost ST is a kinetic energy recovery system (KERS) installed on a curtainsider semi-trailer that aims to cut fuel and carbon emissions by up to 25 per cent.
The unique hybrid technology consists of an electrically driven axle mounted under the semi-trailer, powered by a bank of ultracapacitors, and controlled by intelligent management software that automatically controls regenerative braking and acceleration boost.
The UltraBoost ST uses a compact and lightweight YASA motor to recover kinetic energy, otherwise lost as heat during braking, and stores it in high-power graphene-based ultracapacitors from European manufacturer Skeleton Technologies – who helped develop the KERS technology for road haulage with Adgero last year.
European manufacturer SDC Trailers installed the system on a 13.6m curtainsider trailer, finished in the livery of major UK-based transport and distribution company, Eddie Stobart. The transport operator will be conducting road testing of Adgero’sUltraBoost ST system in coming weeks.
President of Adgero SAS Mack Murray commented:
“The Adgero UltraBoost ST system has the potential to boost fuel efficiency, reduce overall fuel consumption and reduce associated emissions. And because our hybrid system can be easily and economically retrofitted to existing fleets, voluntary fleet-based implementation could have an immediate and meaningful impact on fleet costs and vehicle emissions within a very short timeframe.
“Road haulage accounts for over a fifth of the EU’s total CO2 emissions, so fuel efficient solutions are crucial. We are beginning to see regenerative braking systems in automotive applications, but the market clearly needs a similar solution for articulated lorries.”
The Adgero’s UltraBoost ST system
The Adgero kinetic energy recovery system (KERS) unit consists of a bank of five high-power Skeleton Technologies SkelMod 50F 160V ultracapacitors, working alongside an electrically driven axle to capture energy loss and use this energy to re-power the vehicle.
During braking, the unit becomes a generator, recovering kinetic energy that would otherwise be lost as heat and storing it in the ultra-capacitors. The technology is controlled by an intelligent management system that tracks driver input in order to automatically control the regenerative braking and acceleration boost.
KERS is projected to reduce fuel consumption and associated CO2 emissions by up to 15-25 per cent, depending on terrain and traffic profile, while the regenerative braking system significantly reduces brake wear and associated maintenance costs.