As part of the BMDV-funded research project “SeLv”, a modular drive train for trucks has been developed. The prototype has now successfully completed a test drive.

The “Production Engineering of E-Mobility Components” (PEM) Chair at RWTH Aachen University has reached a milestone in the “SeLv” electric truck research project. Following the completion of development, the prototype successfully completed its first test drives with hydrogen on the “Aldenhoven Testing Center” circuit in the district of Düren.

“The tests under real conditions have shown that the combination of a battery-electric drivetrain and fuel cell hydrogen system works for heavy goods vehicles,” says PEM Director Professor Achim Kampker. Over a total of some 500 kilometers, the e-truck overcame various challenges on the brake track, the oval track and the incline hill. “After basic functions such as braking and steering, we successfully tested the hydrogen system and thermal management,” explains Kampker.

A range that exceeds 1,000 kilometres

In October 2022, the RWTH Chair presented the prototype in motion for the first time – at that time still purely battery-electric. With the help of the fuel cell system that has now been implemented and a predictive energy management system, the electric truck is expected to have a range of more than 1,000 kilometres in the future. The vehicle has a modular drivetrain, which should enable individual configurations depending on usage requirements. During development, the focus is on the industrialization of the production processes for the drivetrain. One of the targets is to achieve cost savings based on production volumes.

The “Heavy-duty trucks for emission-free logistics in heavy goods transport using electrification modules and an economical production system” (SeLv – “Schwere Lastkraftwagen für die emissionsfreie Logistik im Schwerlastverkehr mittels Elektrifizierungsbaukasten und wirtschaftlichem Produktionssystem”) project, which is scheduled to run for a period of more than four years until the end of 2024, is being funded by the Federal Ministry for Digital and Transport as part of the Mobility and Fuels Strategy (MFS) with around 16.9 million euros and is being coordinated by NOW GmbH.

Further information on the “SeLv” project at RWTH Aachen University

Image: PEM RWTH Aachen