The Colruyt Group presents a new acquisition in its truck fleet: a hybrid truck especially developed for silent deliveries. This is a novelty because it is the first time the serial hybrid technology is used in a 44 tons Heavy Duty truck.
Our own design
The Colruyt Group took the initiative to start this project that represents an investment of 650,000 euro. The hybrid truck was completely developed by the group's own engineers in collaboration with a few partners. For eight years they comprehensively examined ways to install the serial hybrid technology in heavy trucks as efficiently as possible. The prototype is ready and will be used as from September in off-peak hours to make deliveries to Colruyt stores in residential areas with heavy traffic.
It is the first time a serial diesel and electric motor combination is installed in a Heavy Duty truck weighing 44 tons. The electric motor can run independently in such a serial hybrid truck. It is powered directly from a battery that is charged by the diesel engine. This is the main difference with the parallel hybrid system used in most hybrid cars and trucks. In that system the two engines are complementary, hence dependent on one another. The hybrid truck of the Colruyt Group can run up to 10 km on the battery alone, without using the diesel engine.
Ideal for silent deliveries
Because the hybrid truck can run on electricity for 10 km it produces less noise than a truck with a traditional diesel engine. The hybrid truck always remains below the 65 dB target, which corresponds to the noise of a normal conversation. This makes it ideal for silent deliveries to stores that are difficult to reach during the day due to heavy traffic. The Colruyt Group wants to make many deliveries early in the morning or late at night to organise its transports more efficiently. If we send fewer trucks on the roads during the day, we can avoid traffic-jams and favour smoother traffic for the other road users. Moreover, the hybrid truck allows the group to save fuel, which positively influences transport costs and CO2 emissions.
How the story started
The Colruyt Group is constantly looking for means allowing sustainable and cost-cutting undertaking. The development of the hybrid truck fits in this picture, but that is not the end of the story. If the test drive of the hybrid truck is positive, the Colruyt Group wishes to optimise the use of this truck and include other stores of the group. The group also wants to reduce emissions and consumption of the hybrid truck by 20% to make it even more environment-friendly.
The wheels are driven by the electric motor that is powered by the battery or directly by the diesel engine. Since the diesel engine is not used immediately, it can run at a constant rhythm and charge the battery.
This specific technique allows us to have the truck run on electric power, hence silently, in town centres.
In the parallel hybrid system, the electric motor and the diesel engine are complementary.