New Renault Trucks project aims to reduce fuel usage for distribution trucks

French  truck maker Renault Trucks, now part of the Volvo Group,  and six partner businesses have launched a new project aimed at reducing the fuel consumption of distribution vehicles’  by as much as 13 per cent compared with current production vehicles.

Under the EDIT (Efficient Distribution Truck) project, the seven companies plan to use the latest in technology to build a prototype distribution truck with a refrigerated body.

“The project’s aim is to design and develop a demonstration refrigerated transport vehicle consuming 13 per cent less fuel than the reference Euro 6 distribution truck,” Renault Trucks said, adding that the vehicle will be based on a D Wide Euro 6 model.

“This demonstration vehicle will have to use technologies that can be made commercially available by 2020, to which each partner is contributing their expertise.”

EDIT is a spin-off to Renault Trucks’ Optifuel Lab 2, a research project which focused on making technological innovations applicable for the long-distance transport market.

Now the French OEM is extending this work to the metro distribution market, supported by Valeo, Lamberet, Michelin, BeNomad, INSA de Lyon (LamCoS) and IFSTTAR (LICIT).

“First of all, the aerodynamics of the vehicle and refrigerated body will be thoroughly revised,” Renault Trucks said.

“Then, the prototype will be fitted with a low voltage macro-hybrid system, which will recover some of the braking energy via a reversible electric system.

“This will be used to power auxiliary equipment with recovered electrical energy and can also provide occasional support to the internal combustion engine.”

Another area of research concerns the development of a new driving aid system that will be connected to traffic lights and detect when they change to define a speed profile that will minimise fuel consumption.

Furthermore, it will also allow drivers to choose the most economic itinerary for their truck.

Finally, the prototype will be testing new tyres with a lower rolling resistance coefficient.

The EDIT project is scheduled to end with the delivery of the first vehicle in 2018.