Irizar shows ie battery-electric truck at Solutrans17 November 2021

The Irizar Group, known best in the UK for its range of coaches, has presented the battery-electric Irizar ie truck at the Solutrans international trade fair in Lyon, France.

The Irizar ie truck is currently available in two versions: a four-wheeled, two-axle truck with a maximum weight of 10.5 tonnes, a battery capacity of up to 340 kWh (offering a range of up to 250 km between charges) requiring up to 2 hours' charging time on a 150 kW input, and a 160 kW electric motor.

The other is a six-wheel, three-axle truck powered by a 240 kW e-motor, with the same range between charges enabled by battery capacity of 340 kWh (with a 3 hour charge time at 150 kWh). Both trucks are notably constructed with low-floor with a cabin access step 37 cm off the ground, and a top cabin height at around 366.5 cm.

Either model can come with a fully-electric powertrain or with a hybrid-electric range extender.

In addition to these two configurations, which are already available, the Irizar Group has designed a four-axle truck to handle larger and heavier loads to cover more urban applications in the future.

A three-axle chassis version was exhibited inside. Outside of pavilion 4.2, the Irizar ietruck is a rear-body vehicle with electric drivetrain and a CNG compressed natural gas range extender. This allows movement in the city in electric mode, and makes it possible to extend autonomy and extend working hours with an engine that runs on natural gas.

The low-floor cab is accessible via a single 370 mm access step. It can accommodate a total of four people, with three folding seats for the crew. The low position of the driver's seat and the wide front and side windows provide the driver with a panoramic view of the road, cyclists, pedestrians and other users, facilitating interaction and eliminating blind spots, according to Irizar.

The Irizar ie truck is also equipped with the latest active safety technology. In addition to stability control, the integration of the camera and the front radar sensor allows for lane change detection (LDWS), alerting the driver in the event of unintentional vehicle deviation. It also incorporates Emergency Brake Assist (AEBS), which activates the emergency brake if the vehicle moves too close to the vehicle in front and the driver does not react in time. Creepage functionality provides the driver with automatic start/finish assistance, both on level ground and on steep hills. This allows the driver to focus on the surrounding traffic and avoid complicated pedal and paddle manoeuvres.

As an option, camera mirrors can be fitted for optimum and clear visibility even in unfavourable conditions. Warning and alert systems for obstacles, people or vehicles in blind spots or those with poor visibility are also available.

The first units were manufactured in 2018, since when reliability, performance and safety tests for the driver, users and pedestrians have been carried out continuously.

Traction systems, energy storage, thermal management and other elements and components have undergone constant testing with progressive validation programmes at every stage of the vehicle's design, applying the most cutting-edge technologies and methodologies to obtain the most accurate and reliable results. The powertrain has been tested on an INSIA test bench (UPM, Madrid).

Crash tests have been carried out to analyse the response of the passenger compartment in an accident, thus guaranteeing the safety of the driver and other operators.

The Irizar ietruck has also been exposed to demanding fatigue road testing in Idiada AppPlus. These tests simulate the entire life of the vehicle to ensure optimum durability and reliability in the most severe conditions.

However, the ultimate test has been to see this truck operating in real-life waste management duties (including trials on the bin loader and compactor systems) across at least 15 cities throughout Europe. The good results have led to the series production of the first ten commercial vehicles, also intended for refuse collection.

The axles, suspension and steering are custom-designed to prevent the ie truck having too large a turning radius (an issue that can arise with low-floor cabin trucks) and enabling a greater manoeuvrability performance and to reduce the number of manoeuvres in difficult turns, the company said. The three-axle, 6x2 version has a payload of up to 18 tonnes.

The suspension of the Irizar ie truck has automatic levelling (ELC) and provides special functionalities for different applications: optimal adherence of the drive axle at all times; correct distribution of axle loads; automatic levelling to ensure the optimal driving height at all times; assistance in departure or starting to drive in the most slippery situations; different working heights of the suspension.

This vehicle can be used in unlimited applications, such as logistics, sweeping, cement mixing, crane or other urban work. The Irizar Group is currently able to offer vehicles for all types of containers, for dry and refrigerated distribution, for fuel and food in tanker trucks, for transporting people with reduced mobility and platform cranes. However, the first application developed is waste collection management and the first field-tested applications were in the collection of urban solid waste, as this is the most challenging type of heavy road vehicle to engineer.

Electric traction, energy and load storage, thermal management and control electronics developed by Irizar Group companies. The synergy between them enables them to offer a range of options and versions adapted to current and future industrial needs in urban environments, the company said.

The motors are developed and manufactured by Alconza, a company dedicated to electric motors and generators for the marine, hydraulic generation and industrial sectors for special uses. Synchronous permanent magnet technology is used, as they yield the biggest torque and power density figures. The powertrain is compact and light, thus saving on space and weight.

The electronics (ECU) that control the motor and inverters are developed by Jema Energy, which specialises in high-end power electronics.

NMC (lithium nickel manganese cobalt oxide) cells are used in the ie truck's batteries, due to their high energy density and power density relative to other chemistries, in addition to their high number of cycles, thus helping to minimise the number of pack replacements needed over the 8-10 year lifetime of each truck.

The Irizar Group offers different charging options to respond to different customer conditions, both in terms of power limitations and space and operational restrictions: charging by plug-in or pantograph in depots, charging by roof-mounted pantograph or inverted pantograph en route.

With the Irizar ie truck, the charging possibilities have been optimised so that operators can carry out agile charging. The option offered is through type 2 CCS 80 kW fast chargers that replenish 350 kWh in just over four hours. However, a wide range of charging systems is available, from 20 kW chargers to 50, 100, 150 and 250 kW.

Transport Engineer

Related Companies
Irizar UK Ltd

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