E-Transporter enjoys world premiere in Stoos

4/24/19, 2:01 PM -

In the car-free Swiss village of Stoos, the future is underway. The Swiss tech firm ecovolta celebrates the first Aebi Transporter fitted with a fully electric drive. The Transporter was electrified in cooperation with Aebi.

E-Transporter enjoys world premiere in Stoos
As silent and as nimble as a mountain goat!

Aebi Schmidt is a globally leading provider of vehicles and services for the maintenance of green spaces on challenging terrain. This is the first time that an Aebi machine has used the standardised Li-ion traction battery developed by ecovolta. It is a pilot project that lays the groundwork for a partnership between the Aebi Schmidt Group and ecovolta.

Since the start of February 2019, the popular Aebi VT 450 Transporter has been in use in the car-free mountain village of Stoos – with a fully electric drive. It is Aebi’s first 100 per cent electric and emission-free transporter model. It is the product of a collaboration between the Aebi Schmidt Group and ecovolta. Tobias Weissenrieder, Head of Technical Unit (R&D and Product Management) at the Aebi Schmidt Group, speaks proudly of their partnership with ecovolta: “It took us just 5 months to go from idea to implementation. As we developed and integrated the drive concept, we learned a few things that we will be able to use again in future projects.” ecovolta is a division of the ecocoach AG, whose CEO Pirmin Reichmuth adds: “The pilot project is a perfect example of Swiss engineering and certainly won’t be the last electrifying innovation from Aebi Schmidt and ecovolta.”

Standardisation and engineering service enable direct transition to e-mobility

Like the conventional model, the eVT 450 Vario is a four-wheel drive vehicle with a progressive power-split hydrostatic-mechanical transmission and can be easily switched from tires to a crawler track and back as needed. The large surface area of the crawler track in particular minimises the vehicle’s impact on the terrain – an advantage over tractors which is especially clear when the transporter is used on ski slopes and snow-covered roads. The eVT 450 Vario’s useful load of up to 5 tonnes is unparalleled in the electric transporter class. The vehicle can also be quickly fitted with a flatbed or a closed body depending on what is being transported.

The Aebi eVT 450 Vario’s electric drive draws on ecovolta technology. ecovolta’s patented battery design is based on innovation through standardisation and makes it possible to electrify vehicles of all kinds. Until now, customised battery packs had to be developed for each individual vehicle type. This time-consuming work created added risks and meant that electric vehicle manufacturing was only profitable with high production runs. The evoTractionBattery from ecovolta, on the other hand, is already certified as a comprehensive solution and can be quickly put into operation. Standardisation cuts the costs per kilowatt hour of electricity stored, lowering the barriers to entry for companies looking to move into e-mobility. The capacity levels and electronics have been standardised along with some of the dimensions. The evoTractionBattery is available with voltages from 24 to 96 V and capacities from 2.5 to 15 kWh. Up to 16 batteries can be connected in series as needed, or up to 32 strings in parallel, allowing battery voltages of between 24 and 829 V and total capacities of up to around 7,600 kWh.

First test phase yields impressive results

The Aebi eVT 450 Vario’s battery solution comprises 12 battery packs which each have 840 cells, offering a total energy capacity of 120 kWh. The transmission is impressively powerful at 80 kW.
The vehicle has the following key specifications:

Engine power: 80 kW (throttled)
Battery chemistry: NMC
Battery storage: 120 kWh 12x10 kWh evoTractionBattery 48 V
Voltage: 600 V
Time to reach 80% charge: 4 hours
Max. speed with crawler track: 25 km/h
Max. speed with tires: 45 km/h

The performance results in field tests even slightly exceeded the expected levels in the first test phase of months. The Aebi eVT 450 Vario regularly and reliably performed its duties for 4 hours with no faults occurring. Recharging to 80 per cent also takes 4 hours. As the eVT 450 Vario was fitted with a crawler track in the test phase, it can be expected to perform better still in the summer when used with tires. The drivers or transport workers are certainly satisfied, and both locals and visitors are pleased that the electric Transporters are almost noiseless – in particular at the lack of engine

“The eVT 450 will now undergo another phase of rigorous testing,” says Tobias Weissenrieder. Weissenrieder and his team already have experience with mechanical road sweepers – fully electric models will be entering series production this fall. “The strong results have exceeded our expectations and made us very optimistic. Now we want to test whether the vehicle will behave as we expect over longer periods of time,” says Weissenrieder. (mfo)

You can now sign up for our upcoming pv Guided Tours at The smarter E Europe (Intersolar Europe, ees Europe, Power2Drive, EM-Power) in Munich in May 2019.

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