Through close collaboration and a special partnership with Carrier Transicold, the businesses worked together to collectively bring the first ever fully-electric trailer to UK roads in 2021.
Built into a dual-temperature, twin-member trailer with a tail-lift, the Vector eCool utilises a new energy recovery and storage system that converts kinetic energy generated by the trailer axle and brakes into electricity, which is then stored in a battery pack that powers the refrigeration unit. This loop creates a fully autonomous systems which produces no direct carbon dioxide and doesn’t require any modification to the tractor unit or the fitting of expensive eco-drives and PTO’s.
Suitable for operation with the engineless versions of the Carrier Transicold Vector HE 19 and Vector 1550 E, the tri-axle trailer also features aerodynamic cappings to reduce drag, while bespoke sideguards allow access to the battery system and offers protection for cyclists and other vulnerable road users. Even with the axle generator and battery pack, it is lighter than a standard diesel unit with a full tank of fuel.
Carrier Transicold has been working in close partnership with Gray & Adams on the design of the Vector eCool trailer to maximise the environmental benefits of the system. Where traditional belt-driven systems suffer a loss of up to 40% of cooling power when converting electrical energy into their required mechanical drive, the Carrier E-Drive ensures the eCool has consistent, efficient cooling power and pull-down speeds whether operating on battery power or when plugged into the mains grid. The system has been designed to help customers improve fleet sustainability and futureproof their operations – particularly when considering the tightening restrictions and regulations relating to Low Emission Zones and urban operations.
Peter Gray, joint managing director, Gray & Adams, said: “Our design teams have seamlessly integrated the axle, braking and battery systems that make up the eCool into a trailer that has the potential to completely change the face of refrigerated transport and will help the industry to move forward into a more sustainable future.”