Nestlé Switzerland and Renault Trucks (part of the Volvo Group) recently introduced an experimental all-electric refrigerated truck—nicknamed the e-Truck—that combines an all-electric 13t Renault Midlum developed by Renault Trucks with a refrigerated body that is also entirely powered by electricity. A second identical vehicle will be joining the Nestlé Switzerland fleet in September.
These two vehicles will be tested distributing ice creams and refrigerated Nestlé Frisco-Findus refrigerated products to shops in the Zürich and Lausanne regions.
The two vehicles made available to the Frisco team will be able to carry 3 t of ice cream and refrigerated products. They will be called upon to supply between 30 and 50 sales outlets every day over a distance of between 60 and 100 km (37 to 62 miles). The first truck will come into service in the Zürich region in July and the second in September operating in and around Lausanne.
The electric truck features a 103 kW motor and two Li-ion packs with a total capacity of 170 kWh. Operating range of the trucks is around 140 km (87 miles). These vehicles can reach a maximum speed of 90 km/h (56 mph) and have a system of recovering energy during braking.
This joint effort being made by Nestlé Switzerland and Renault Trucks will make it possible to test and validate the latest generations of batteries, optimize components and seek the most favorable compromises before going on to a new stage of research into this type of vehicle.
Green electricity will also be made part of the equation. Under the terms of a partnership agreement with Romande energy, Nestlé is planning to install several thousand square meters of photovoltaic panels on a number of its administrative buildings at Vevey and la Tour-de-Peliz by the end of the year. This will provide sufficient energy to run the equivalent of some 30 electric trucks for a year. The electricity which is actually generated will be fed into the Romande Energy grid and contribute to the amount of renewable energy produced and consumed in the region.
These experimental vehicles, which are not designed for the market, are part of Renault Trucks’ ongoing research into developing and testing different solutions to improve goods transport.
Renault Trucks is the second largest company in the Volvo group, the presence of which in the heavy duty vehicle sector is based on the development of five reference brands on the world market: Renault, Volvo, Mack, Eicher Trucks and UD (Nissan Diesel).