Electric drivetrain for trailers yDrive delivers up to 40% fuel savings

A consortium of six parties has developed and built an electric drivetrain for trailers under the project name yDrive and will soon start testing and demonstrating it. By equipping trailers with our ground-breaking yDrive technology, we turn every fuel truck into a hybrid combination, while acting as a range extender for electric trucks. yDrive features regenerative braking, allowing a battery pack to be charged during deceleration or downhill travel. As you accelerate, our zero-emission power assist kicks in.

Electric drivetrain for trailers yDrive delivers up to 40% fuel savings
Martin van Willigen, Founder and Managing Director at Econogy and initiator of yDrive comments: ‘Did you know that heavy goods vehicles are responsible for over 6% of total greenhouse gas emissions in Europe? To achieve Europe’s ambitious goal of Net Zero by 2050, heavy goods vehicles must reduce its carbon footprint by 45% within this decade and an astounding 90% by 2040 – largely by going electric.’ However, the growth of electric trucking is slower than anticipated. By 2030, it is projected that only 10% of Europe’s truck fleet will be electric, with that number increasing to just 50% by 2040. This is where yDrive steps in to bridge the gap. By leveraging the untapped potential of trailers, we are committed to turning Europe’s ambitious green transport agenda into a reality.

A recent simulation study conducted by the prestigious Dutch research institute TNO has revealed the remarkable potential of our technology. A tri-axle trailer equipped with our electric drivetrain can save up to 40% on fuel consumption during urban and regional delivery.

Robust e-axle
Our e-axle is a masterpiece that combines proven concepts from the truck and trailer industries, leveraging their existing economies of scale. The transversely mounted and integrated e-motor remains within the periphery of the trailer air suspension, ensuring seamless integration into the trailer chassis. The e-axle is compatible with industry-standard brakes and air suspensions, allowing the other trailer axles to remain standard.

Exceptional battery technology
Rob van Gils, Managing Director at DLS-Drive Line Systems, points out that a so-called LTO (Lithium Titanium Oxide) battery chemistry was chosen. ‘This chemistry makes it possible to discharge the battery very quickly at the times when the vehicle demands maximum energy and to recharge it ultra-fast during the regeneration process when braking.’ This allows us to work with a very small battery for urban and regional distribution, because of the many braking events. Another advantage is the unmatched longevity with over 20,000 cycles, outperforming the trailer’s lifespan.

Smart controller
Arno van der Steen, Manager Smart Mobility at V-Tron says, that for this project V-tron develops the control unit and algorithm in both a basic version – works agnostic of the truck – as well as a predictive version – looks at the road ahead – and an advanced version – with fixed connection with the truck – which further increases the efficiency of yDrive.

We believe in the power of collaboration. Econogy leads a consortium of six esteemed organizations committed to developing, building and demonstrating an electric drivetrain for trailers. Joining forces with TNO, RAI Association, THT New Cool, V-tron and DLS-Drive Line Systems, we are driving the road freight industry towards a more sustainable future.
Our innovative yDrive project is co-funded by the Dutch Province of Flevoland and the DKTI-Transport regulation of the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management.