Retrofitting of an electric drive train in commercial vehicles.
Industrial Engineering.
Insight.

Retrofitting of an electric drive train in commercial vehicles.

"Diesel affair", a term that most automotive OEMs and suppliers are now shrugging at. Unlike passenger cars, trucks and buses have had to comply with the Euro 6 emissions standard since 2013.

According to the VDA (German Association of the Automotive Industry), the permitted particulate emissions of Euro 6 are 66 percent lower and NOx emissions 80 percent lower than the previous Euro 5 standard. Since the introduction of the Euro standards in 1988, Euro 6 has reduced pollutant emissions from heavy commercial vehicles by a total of 98 percent.

 

Retrofitting concept

A hardware or software upgrade therefore makes no sense here. Nevertheless, many older vehicles are still in use in public transport. Since a complete replacement of the vehicle fleet is neither economical nor sustainable, more and more concepts such as "retrofitting", i.e. the subsequent renewal of the drive train or the retrofitting of an electric drive train, are coming to the fore.
The challenge in retrofitting an electric drive for buses is not only the available space for integrating the battery, drive and auxiliary units, but above all the variance of the derivatives and the large number of different bus makes. In addition, there are country-specific requirements for heating and cooling, which drive up the number of variants.

Providers of a "complete package" will dominate the market.

Challenges

Thus it is essential for original manufacturers as well as for fleet owners or transport companies to have the right partner for the delivery of the "complete package". Although there are currently some suppliers for battery systems, battery management systems (BMS) and electric motors, there is almost nobody who acts as general contractor and is responsible for the complete subsequent electrification.
The retrofitting concept also poses special challenges for after sales. Both the electric motor, the auxiliary units and above all the battery will put the service and maintenance network to the test. In addition, the original bus manufacturer will have to meet a wide range of service and parts requirements. Here, too, a complete solution is the true USP for future retrofitting suppliers.

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