Renault Trucks, a leader in circular economy and electric mobility, has taken a significant stride towards decarbonization by converting a 12-tonne diesel truck into a battery-powered electric vehicle.
This remarkable electric retrofit initiative was undertaken in collaboration with Novumtech and received financial support from ADEME, the French Agency for Ecological Transition.
The project not only serves environmental goals but also seeks to conserve natural resources.
The French manufacturer now provides concrete evidence of this commitment by successfully transforming a combustion engine truck into an electric vehicle.
The project’s objective is to evaluate the environmental, technical, and economic feasibility of retrofitting heavy goods vehicles to electric power.
Renault Trucks places a strong emphasis on circularity as a key strategy to decarbonize freight transport.
The manufacturer’s industrial activities, geared towards extending the lifespan of their vehicles, align with a circular economy approach focused on three pillars: regenerate, repurpose, and reuse.
Under this approach, Renault Trucks has introduced various initiatives, including doubling the lifespan of trucks for hauliers by promoting reconditioning instead of replacement.
Furthermore, the manufacturer offers a second life for its used trucks through repurposing, employing rigorous industrial processes.
So far, over 1,500 trucks have been repurposed at the Used Trucks Factory in Bourg-en-Bresse, and 700 have been reconditioned at the Used Trucks Centre in Lyon, collectively saving more than 5,000 tonnes of CO2.
The Conversion Process
The electric conversion of the 12-tonne Renault Trucks D was achieved by altering only the strictly necessary components, such as the engine, gearbox, fuel tank, and AdBlue tank.
Components associated with the combustion engine, including the hydraulic pump for power steering, the air compressor for suspension and braking, and the air conditioning compressor, were all removed.
These components were replaced by an electric motor directly connected to the drive shaft, a 210 kWh Lithium-ion battery pack, a 22 kW on-board charger, an electric air compressor for suspension and braking, an electric hydraulic pump for power steering, an electric air conditioning compressor, and an electric heating system for the cab.
The next significant milestone for this project is the certification of the converted truck to validate compliance with current regulations.
Once this certification is secured, Renault Trucks will embark on a testing phase under real operating conditions in collaboration with Clovis Grand Paris in France.
This retrofit project, made possible through the partnership with Novumtech, was executed at the CampX by Volvo Group facility, located at Renault Trucks’ Lyon site.
The primary purpose of CampX is to accelerate technological and commercial innovation by fostering synergies between Renault Trucks employees, particularly the Lyon engineering team, and startup companies.