If the aim is having to adapt logistic processes only slightly, or not having to adapt them at all, when using heavy e-trucks, the charging procedure must be as easy and quick as possible. With its fully automated fast-charging system, MEGA-LADEN provides a key prerequisite for this.
The charging of e-trucks will be executed automatically when the vehicle has entered a logistics hub. The truck's battery will be charged within a course of mere minutes, ideally during the scheduled loading or unloading of cargo at a ramp.
To achieve this, contact points in the e-trucks' underbodies connect to an especially designed charging system responsible for recharging the e-trucks.
In order to reduce carbon monoxide levels and noise emissions, the use of electric vehicles in logistics should be promoted. For this, however, it is necessary to make the associated charging procedures more attractive.
The project scope includes the development of a comprehensive charging concept that provides solutions for all aspects of the charging procedure: Issues regarding vehicle connection, communication with the vehicle, infrastructure, and fully automated charging will be addressed and solved. The results of the MEGA-LADEN project are to become the standard for all applications in logistics and commercial vehicles operation. This way, the long-term commercial operation of e-trucks will be supported. In addition, the efficient operation of e-vehicles in logistics will be facilitated through the automated charging of batteries in logistics yards without any need for manual intervention.
To achieve these aims, the researchers involved in the project will
- develop an automated fast-charging interface in the megawatt range for electrically driven commercial vehicles, and optimize said interface for use in logistics;
- design a charging station for different contacting systems (plugs, vehicle underbody) that is capable of supplying several charging points and distributing the respective energy supply between them;
- demonstrate the fast-charging capability of e-trucks and the economic practicality of employing fast-charging in logistics applications.
It is planned to run the system in logistics hubs that operate a large number of dispatch points and vehicles. In the project's practical phase, two e-trucks will be equipped with the previously developed fast-charging interface. The charging infrastructure developed within the project will also be finished and installed. After these two steps, it will be possible to launch logistics operations optimized for e-trucks, and to test them in terms of functional viability.