Paneltex is part of the consortium, with responsibility for modifying one of Iceland’s fleet of all-electric trucks on a 5.5-tonne Isuzu chassis for the trial.
The other consortium members are Sunamp (lead partner), Route Monkey and LowCVP (Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership.
Sunamp will deliver its innovative cold storage technology; Route Monkey is to provide its EV optimisation algorithms; and LowCVP will handle dissemination of the project results.
“The partnership’s combined technology has the potential to be a game-changer,” states Sunamp CEO Andrew Bissell.
“If it proves as successful as we expect, it will have far-reaching applications in refrigerated vehicles and beyond.”
Bissell explains that Sunamp is inverting its Heat Batteries (conventionally used in transport heating and air conditioning) to deliver a new cold storage technology capable of offering a better power to weight ratio than existing alternatives, as well as greater efficiency than Li-Ion batteries.
The result, he says, should be increased vehicle payload as a result of reining back on the traction battery pack.
Meanwhile, Route Monkey’s EVOS software will be used to optimise the EV range by calculating factors such as route topography and scheduling deliveries of heavier loads at the beginning of the day.
The firm also intends to demonstrate its system’s capabilities to react to traffic congestion, factor in weather conditions, and – in case of emergency - schedule top-up charges.
The £38 million EV initiative is funded by OLEV (Office for Low Emission Vehicles) and Innovate UK, the UK’s innovation agency.