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World’s largest electric truck on the road

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A 300 km range, 240 kWh battery capacity and 408 BHP – the world’s first electrically-powered 18-ton truck was created in Fehraltorf, Switzerland, on behalf of the E-Force One AG. And Radox cables by Huber+Suhner helped make the reliable construction of the high-voltage electrical system possible.


Smaller models had been built previously. But so far no one had dared build an electrically-powered 18-ton truck. The company Designwerk, an engineering office in Fehraltorf/Switzerland, made it possible and developed the E-Force. To this end, an Iveco truck was equipped with two electric motors and two lithium battery units. With a range of 300 km, the prototype hit the road for test purposes this month for the Feldschlösschen brewery. As of October, retailer Coop will also subject a vehicle to long-term tests.

After a detailed planning phase, the diesel vehicle was converted into an electric truck within just six months. “The main challenge was efficient packaging and the enormous battery output of 240 kWh,” said Marc-André Beck, development engineer at Designwerk. “We were able to draw on our experience from previous projects and rely on experienced project partners.”

To construct the high-voltage electrical system, Designwerk relied on connection solutions by Huber+Suhner. “We were familiar with the company’s Radox cables from other projects,” said Beck. “They are robust, reliable and perfectly suited for use in the engine compartment.” Huber+Suhner supplied the orange-coloured Radox high-voltage cables for the high-voltage connections. The cables connect the high-voltage distribution unit (PDU) with all other electrical system components. Energy is supplied by two 1.3-ton lithium batteries. It is routed by Radox battery cables through the high-voltage distribution unit to two inverters, where it is converted into three-phase AC, and then fed to two electric motors. With their total capacity of 300 kW (408 BHP), the motors can pull a payload of 10 tons at speeds of up to 90 kilometres per hour. During braking, 40% of lost energy is recovered and fed to the batteries through the same circuit. High-voltage products by Huber+Suhner connect the PDU with other system components and ensure a reliable flow of current. The heating system, two chargers and a DC/DC converter for the alternator are connected to the PDU with the aid of Radox cables.

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