SAF-Holland electric trailer axles are undergoing intensive testing around the world. The SAF TRAKr regenerative braking axle and the SAF TRAKe trailer axle with auxiliary electric drive were first presented during the 2018 edition of the IAA Commercial Vehicles. These e-axles use regenerative braking to lower the emissions and fuel consumption of the overall vehicle.
More into details, the SAF TRAKr is on the road in Germany and France, while the SAF TRAKe is being tested in France as well as in South Africa, the USA and Switzerland.
SAF-Holland electric axles mainly for refrigerated vehicles
According to SAF-Holland, the preferred applications for the electric axle are refrigerated vehicles in which the refrigeration units can run fully electric on a temporary basis. This extends the service life of the individual components. In addition, purely electric operation avoids or reduces noise and exhaust emissions. This allows semi-trailer trucks to meet all legal requirements, including night-time refrige-rated transports for inner-city deliveries.
The test vehicles are supporting the progress of the electric axles towards production maturity. «The test results are supplying us with important information regarding the use and application profile of SAF TRAKe and SAF TRAKr», explained Olaf Drewes, Director Group Innovation EMEA at SAF-HOLLAND. «The recorded data are continuously compared to the design criteria for the individual components and used in the further development».
Coordinated overall system
For the modular construction of its e-axles SAF-Holland relies on cooperation with external partners. The operating strategy and components are configured to be ideally matched, allowing the system to run smoothly.
Many components are already permanently integrated into the electric axles. This allows trailer manufacturers to install the trailer axles easily and use standard interfaces. As for maintenance, the drive unit does not have to be removed for uninstalling the wheel ends and wheels. Wear parts such as brake pads or brake discs are identical to the components of non-driven axles from SAF-Holland to ensure and simplify spare parts supply.
The SAF TRAKr uses a high-voltage generator module for electric regenerative braking, with a maximum power of 26 kW by design. The SAF TRAKe is a trailer axle with regenerative braking and an auxiliary electric drive (maximum power 120 kW) for more traction and stability of the semi-trailer truck. Both axles are designed for axle loads from 9 to 10 tonnes.