From February 1, the first prototype of an electrically operated transporter developed in Upper Austria will be in operation in the greater Linz/Wels area. Companies such as Kreisel Electric, Oberaigner Powertrain, Smatrics and Energie Ingenieure Consulting, together with research partners such as the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, the University of Vienna and the University of Applied Sciences Hagenberg, have pushed forward the development project LEEFF “Low Emission Electric Freight Fleets”.
Schachinger Logistik GmbH not only acts as project initiator and leader, but also takes on the first practical test. “The e-van is integrated into our regular parcel logistics operations and is dispatched like any other van,” explains Peter Overkamp, CFO at Schachinger Logistik.
Initially, the e-van will be used in the greater Linz/Wels area on tours with a maximum of 140 kilometers . Thereafter, the radius of action is gradually extended to 200 kilometers. “We want to gradually approach the capacity limits,” says Peter Overkamp. This test phase will last until September. During this time, it is planned to further develop the e-van from the prototype to series production. The van has a payload of up to 1,060 kilograms with a 86 kWh battery specially developed by Kreisel Electric and a transmission from Oberaigner Powertrain.
The electric van from Upper Austria is built on a Mercedes Sprinter. “We completely disassembled the car, removed the combustion engine and all related components, measured everything accurately and created 3D models,” Markus Kreisel, CEO of Kreisel Electric, outlines the launch phase of the LEEFF project.
Based on these 3D models, both the perfect size and position of the batteries as well as the gearbox design could be perfectly matched to the chassis of the Mercedes Sprinter. Of course, the workability of all safety and assistance systems such as ABS, ESP or parking assistant had to be thoroughly checked and adjusted beforehand.
The declared aim of all project partners is to initiate a small series production for e-vans for urban freight traffic. This would eliminate the high conversion costs of conventional vehicles. This should help to reduce the emissions caused by urban delivery traffic by 20-40 per cent through smart and innovative fleet management.
The “LEEFF” (Low Emission Electric Freight Fleets) development project is funded by the Climate and Energy Fund, endowed by the Federal Ministry of Transport, Innovation and Technology (BMVIT). The Climate and Energy Fund supports the project with just under EUR 2.7 million and the total budget is EUR 5.2 million. A total of 17 project partners are involved.