Thermo King, the supplier of transport temperature control solutions for a variety of mobile applications and a brand of Ingersoll Rand, worked with Northgate, the European commercial vehicle rental company to create a zero-emission and zero-noise refrigerated van and test it in real life operational environment.
The new Thermo King B-100 ECO refrigeration unit, specifically developed to meet the extreme low energy consumption required by small electric vehicles, was fitted on an electric Citroën Berlingo making a zero-emission and fully electric powered refrigeration vehicle, which was then entered into daily service in Spain by Northgate.
The vehicle was tracked during real life, daily operations. The tests conducted in various conditions showed the refrigeration unit's limited, 5-8,5 percent impact on the range of the vehicle within an average delivery day of 8 hours with 32 door openings of 2 minutes each. This proved that the standard 12V auxiliary battery of the electric vehicle is enough to power the B-100 ECO unit and there is no requirement for additional and costly batteries on the electric van.
"Unlike the B-100 ECO, alternative small fully electric refrigeration units available on the market today require installation of an additional and costly battery in order to provide full autonomy to the unit," said Iñaki Fernandez Blanco, head of engineering for Vehicle Powered Truck at Thermo King. "The tests showed that this additional battery pack of approximately 90 kilograms impacts the electric vehicle's range by 3 percent. This makes the cost, space and weight factors critical in choosing the most efficient and reliable fully electric small refrigerated van solution and paving the way for inner city last mile deliveries that are truly zero-emission."
"This zero-emission refrigerated van developed by Thermo King gives our customers the option to address their need for a nonstop transport service that provides access to any area of the city despite traffic restrictions, even in the city centre, while helping our customers respect the environment," said Fernando Cogollos, general manager at Northgate Spain Flexible Rental (the Spanish subsidiary company of Northgate). "Following successful tests, we have already received numerous requests for this solution from our sustainability and environmentally sensitive customers in Barcelona, Madrid and Valencia."
"For us as an innovator the ultimate goal is to provide our customers with breakthrough, sustainable and business-sound solutions that future-proof their everyday operations," said Eneko Fernandez, product management leader at Thermo King. "In close partnership with the vehicle manufacturer we have been able to harness the power of electricity, data and clean technology, breaking new ground in the future of sustainable last mile refrigerated deliveries."
To make sure the refrigeration unit and the van were running as expected and meeting customer expectations, the B-100 ECO unit was connected through Thermo King TracKing telematics allowing for easy monitoring and analysing of the refrigerated operations. This ensured temperature control, compliance and maximum uptime — without taking the vehicle off of the road.
TracKing Connected Solutions are available across all the entire Thermo King direct drive units and offer 24/7 visibility of the vehicle, the unit's performance and the load condition. This allows fleet managers to access critical unit data through a computer or mobile device and interact with the unit to ensure that the load is protected at all times and the unit is running at it most efficient.