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Aebi eVT 450 electric caterpillar transporter: battery-operated on the mountain pastures

Aebi eVT 450 electric caterpillar transporter
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D he vehicle manufacturer Aebi from Switzerland is, among other things, a specialist in commercial vehicles that can drive where others cannot even go on foot. In addition to the numerous vehicles for municipal and commercial use under 'normal conditions', Aebi also has various work machines in its range which, thanks to their special construction, can cope with extraordinary inclines and also work on extreme slopes.

Bergfex from Switzerland now too electric

The flagship of this special transporter is the Aebi VT 450 Vario with a payload of up to six tons. The Aebi VT 450 Vario, which is not unlike a snow groomer, is usually equipped with a VM turbo diesel engine that provides 420 Newton meters of torque and 109 hp. With the company Ecovolta, also based in Switzerland, which specializes in battery systems and charging technology for electric vehicles, an electrically powered model of the Aebi transporter has now been developed.

The first Aebi eVT 450 transporter is appropriately used in a car-free mountain village, the 1,305 meter high village of Stoos. The transporter, which has been converted to a fully electric drive, moves on caterpillars for use on snow-covered mountain slopes, which can also be exchanged for conventional wheels if necessary.

The car-free mountain village of Stoos in Switzerland is the first location for the new van

Similar to the conventional model, the eVT 450 Vario also has all-wheel drive and a continuously variable mechanical-hydrostatic-power-split transmission. The use of the drive batteries reduces the payload to around five tons. A box body or an open loading platform is available for transporting goods in a short timemountable.

The specialty of Ecovolta is the standardization of battery technology, so that a large part of the technology can be used regardless of the type of vehicle used. This creates scope even for small series without factoring in the otherwise usual high development and adaptation costs.

The battery solution in the Aebi eVT 450 Vario comprises 12 battery packs with 840 cells each and a total of 120 kWh of energy capacity. The gearbox of the continuously variable hydrostatic drive is driven with 80 kW power. The electrical conversion has the following main features:

  • Motor output 80 kW (throttled)
  • Battery chemistry: NMC
  • Battery storage: 120 kWh 12x10 kWh evoTractionBattery 48V
  • Voltage: 600 V
  • Duration for charging to 80%: 4 hours
  • Max. Speed ​​with crawler track: 25 km /h
  • Max. Speed ​​with tires: 45 km /h

According to Ecovolta, the expected performance values ​​in the first two-month test phase were even slightly exceeded in practical use. The Aebi eVT450 Vario did its job regularly and reliably for 4 hours without any problems. Reloading to 80% also took 4 hours. Since the eVT 450 Vario was equipped with a crawler track in the test phase, these performance values ​​should improve even further with tires in summer use, according to Ecovolta, since their drive is less energy-intensive.

now put through its paces in a further phase, ”says Tobias Weissenrieder, Head of Research and Development at Aebi. “The very good results, which exceeded expectations, make us confident. Now we want to check whether the vehicle behaves as we expect over a longer period of time, ”says Weissenrieder.


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