Contargo begins using first ‘E-truck’ for container haulage
Photo by: DAF Drivers Blog
European intermodal operator Contargo has begun using the first of six ‘E-truck’ container haulage vehicles with electric motors for the delivery and collection of containers to and from DIT Duisburg Intermodal Terminal, part of what the company claims is the first battery-driven container truck fleet in Germany.
The company said its first use of the E-truck’ on 6 May in Duisburg as part of Contargo’s container hinterland logistics network was “a step towards the enterprise’s planned decarbonisation by 2050 at the latest”. In response to a request from Contargo, the DAF CF Electric semi-trailer was delivered by Dutch truck manufacturer DAF to Rhenus Trucking, which, as service provider is making this vehicle – and other E-trucks in the fleet – available to its customer Contargo.
In the next few days, DIT – in which Contargo owns a 66% share – is to receive a second E-truck. Four more electric 44-tonners will be delivered in the course of 2019 to Contargo’s terminals in Neuss and Emmerich – two manufactured by Framo and two by Eforce.
Sascha Hähnke, managing director of Rhenus Trucking, said: “Together with our customer Contargo we are adopting an innovative approach that no other logistics service provider has taken so far. The six E-trucks that we have ordered for the use of Contargo will constitute the first battery-driven truck fleet in Germany. By this course of action, we are sending the signal in various directions that this technology has a future.”
Hendrik Wüst, Minister of Transport for Germany’s North Rhine-Westphalia region, commented: “Here, investments are being made in innovative technologies. This protects the environment and strengthens North Rhine-Westphalia as a location for industry.
“The experience gathered by Contargo with the E-truck fleet over the next few years will also benefit others.”
Kristin Kahl, head of sustainable solutions at Contargo, commented: “We have set ourselves the goal of becoming decarbonised by 2050 at the latest. Since especially the transport modes of truck and barge produce most CO emissions, this is where we are taking action.
“With the six E-trucks in operation, CO emissions will be reduced by at least 38% compared to the use of diesel trucks – even with conventional electricity. When we have switched completely to green electricity at all the participating terminals, the CO emissions will be reduced by as much as 89%.”
The DAF CF Electric is a 4x2 truck unit developed for road haulage of up to 37 tonnes in urban areas, for which single-axle or dual-axle trailers are the norm. The vehicle is based on the DAF CF — named ‘International Truck of the Year 2018’ —and is operated fully electrically using VDL’s E-Power Technology.
The CF Electric has a range of up to 100 kilometres, depending on the weight of its cargo, making it suitable for high-volume transport in the urban distribution market. The batteries have a 30-minute quick-charge feature and a full charge takes just one and a half hours. The core of this “intelligent powertrain” is a 210-kW electric motor powered by a lithium-ion battery pack with a current total capacity of 170 kWh.
Rhenus director Michael Viefers said: “The willingness to test out new technologies in order to provide resource-conserving logistics is strongly characterised at Rhenus. We have an open attitude to technologies, meaning that we will continually develop our vehicle fleet sustainably for the benefit of our customers – whether driven by batteries, hydrogen, LNG or CNG.”
Contargo operates one of the largest container logistics networks in Europe, with a workforce of 1,133 employees that achieved a turnover of €534 million in 2018. With an annual transport volume of 2 million TEU, it integrates container transport between the western seaports, the German North Sea ports and the European hinterland, via 24 container terminals in Germany, France and Switzerland.
It maintains offices at seven additional locations in Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium and also operates its own barge and rail lines.
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