R enault continues to rely on diesel engines for trucks and grants thus the future plans of other manufacturers to electrify the heavy trucks, at least for the time being, a rejection. Instead, fuel consumption is to be reduced with further technical optimizations. How the French imagine this in detail is now shown by the new Urban Lab 2 concept vehicle.
Mild hybrid in the Urban Lab 2 truck
Together with six technology partners, Renault has developed the Urban Lab 2 truck based on a 19-ton 'D WIDE' with a Euro 6 engine. Renault expects the measures on this distribution truck to save 13 percent fuel and thus reduce pollutants accordingly.
The goal is to get the vehicle with its new technologies on the road by 2020 . Among other things, the Urban Lab 2 truck has “mild hybrid” technology, as is already known from cars. This includes an automatic stop-start system and a 48-volt starter generator from Valeo, which generates energy when the brakes are applied.
Great efforts have been made to improve the aerodynamics. In the Urban Lab 2-Truck, for example, which is to be used as a refrigerated vehicle for urban distribution traffic, the refrigeration unit, which is usually mounted on the cabin roof, was relocated to the underfloor area. Lateral cladding above the wheels, among other things, as well as the omission of the rearview mirror by a camera system are intended to further reduce air resistance.
Optimized route calculation
Another aspect of reducing consumption is an optimized driving style and route selection. For each journey, the “BeNomad” GPS system calculates the most efficient route for the driver, while at the same time estimating the expected journey time and fuel consumption. This software was parameterized in such a way as to take into account not only the fuel consumption, but also and above all the operational requirements of a delivery vehicle.
Ideally, the Urban Lab 2 truck communicates with the infrastructure, for example to allow it to pass through make it easier at green lights. When the 'Urban Lab 2' approaches a traffic light, data is transmitted from the traffic light to the vehicle and the system calculates whether it will be more economical to brake or accelerate the vehicle, provided that the road traffic conditions and rules allow this. In this way the phases of stopping and starting,which have a very negative effect on fuel consumption.
D WIDE CNG natural gas truck
Another innovation, which was also developed under the aspect of environmental friendliness, is the ' D WIDE CNG “, which can be operated with natural gas and biogas. Its 8.9 liter engine develops 320 hp. It was specially developed for inner-city thermal transport and should be delivered as early as 2017. Frequent entry and exit is made easier by a lowered access to the driver's cab with only two steps; the reduced turning radius of the vehicle ensures improved maneuverability of the vehicle, and the Allison automatic transmission enables the driver to concentrate better in traffic. The D WIDE CNG is also equipped with a hydraulic brake system which, in conjunction with the automatic transmission, ensures a longer service life for the entire system.