"LiVe" Project: PEM's E-Truck Masters Test Track Near Berlin


The chair "Production Engineering of E-Mobility Components" (PEM) of RWTH Aachen University has successfully subjected Europe's first prototype of an all-electric truck with a pantograph to real-life conditions. The vehicle was used for this purpose on Siemens' five-kilometer "eHighway" near Berlin. In addition to PEM, the Laboratory for Machine Tools and Production Engineering (WZL) of RWTH Aachen University and the Japanese vehicle manufacturer ISUZU are also involved in the "LiVe" research project, which is funded by the Federal Ministry for the Environment.

  E-truck powered by a pantograph during test drive Copyright: © PEM RWTH Aachen University

"The combination of battery and pantograph of an all-electric commercial vehicle works," says Professor Achim Kampker, head of PEM: "The valuable findings will now be incorporated into further development." In recent months, his team had already completed various driving tests in Aachen and simulated the so-called bracketing of the pantograph to the overhead line while stationary. On the test track in Groß Dölln near Templin, the truck was able to make contact with the overhead line for the first time while driving and was supplied with power for propulsion via the pantograph.

Next "LiVe" prototype aims for fuel cells experience

The prototype from the "Life cycle cost reduction in electric distribution transport" (LiVe) project was presented for the first time last December. The "LiVePLuS" research project, which is dedicated to "Life cycle cost reduction in electric distribution transport through pantograph-based modular systems for trucks and tractor units," is going to benefit from the current measurement data. In this project, RWTH University's PEM chair is electrifying semitrailers for heavy-duty transport, also via pantographs. Meanwhile, experience with fuel cells is to be gained in the next vehicle prototype of the "LiVe" project in order to move closer to the goal of a modular powertrain.

Further information on the project is provided here.