Abuzz with innovation

Abuzz with innovation

The IAA, which took place from September 20 to 25 in Hannover, Germany, was abuzz with innovation (you can read the general review on page 26). Trailers and the refrigerated transport segment were certainly not left out in the cold.

Under the motto “Innovations for Transport Efficiency”, Schmitz Cargobull showcased a range of products that can reduce the total cost of ownership for transport operators and enhance the cooling efficiency for temperature-controlled freight.

First up, customers can choose from two diesel-powered Schmitz Cargobull transport cooling units or an electric unit. With its efficient common rail diesel engine and new performance mode, the S.CU 2.0 impresses with fuel savings of 15% and a lower level of noise while still delivering the same cooling/heating performance. Additionally, its weight has been reduced by almost 50 kg, which allows for a greater payload. It is available with a pharmaceutical certificate, and in either a MonoTemp or MultiTemp design. The emissions-optimised S.CU 1.0 with its robust and well-known Perkins diesel engine, meanwhile, can be used in any sector. It is also suited for transport in countries with low fuel quality, although it is only available in a MonoTemp design.

Drivers also have reason to be pleased: the new generation of cooling units is quieter and smoother, which has been achieved by decoupling the drive unit. The display is easier to read thanks to larger font, clear icons, and more intuitive menu structures in the updated software, all of which contributes to greater user comfort. All trailer information can also be accessed on the S.CU display using the Smart Trailer menu.

All transport cooling units are equipped with a new generator with enhanced thermal management, an updated version of the evaporator fan, new user-friendly software, and the standard silencer kit for optimum noise insulation. An optional solar panel on the transport cooling unit protects the starter battery against deep discharging. By charging continuously, this option ensures that the starter battery remains operational for longer. The S.CU’s solar module is installed directly on the cooling unit and can even be retrofitted on existing cooling units.


The battery-powered S.CUe doesn’t generate any emissions and is designed especially for use in urban transport. The S.CUe is equipped with a built-in inverter, controlling the temperature of goods with a cooling output of up to 15 900 W
and a heating output of 9 100 W, all without generating any emissions. The batteries are installed on the landing gear, meaning pallet boxes can be installed as usual. Other options, such as a tailgate, are still available for the rear. The S.CUe is only slightly heavier than the diesel-powered units, so it does not suffer from any payload restriction.

The modular design of the unit allows for the battery capacity to be scaled up in future (up to about 65 kWh). Depending on the application and requirements, the S.CUe can run on electric power for up to 10 hours. With the current system of approximately 32 kWh, the unit can run autonomously for around five hours.

The second innovation from Schmitz Cargobull’s stall came in the form of another electric solution. The S.KO Cool, an all-electric box body semi-trailer, is equipped with a fully electric cooling unit boasting integrated power electronics, a battery system, and an axle generator for emission-free operation. The electrified Schmitz Cargobull trailer axle recuperates energy during braking and other processes, thereby extending the cooling unit’s operating time and/or reducing battery recharging times via the power grid. This also helps to reduce waiting times at distribution centres. An intelligent battery charging management function ensures that the battery charge level remains as high as possible to provide greater reliability when the vehicle is stationary (for example, in traffic jams).

The generator performance of the electrified axle is precisely matched to the requirements of the cooling unit. The system is also fully integrated into the Schmitz Cargobull telematics system, enabling monitoring of system statuses such as battery charge level, remaining range, and remaining charging time via the telematics portal.

Unfortunately, it will be some time before such an electric unit would be at home on South African roads, but this brings us to another refrigerated innovation, in the form of Thermo King’s new E-Series. The series answers the need for zero-emission refrigeration customised for electric light commercial vehicles (LCVs), a segment that makes much more sense for the local market.

“With the new E-Series, when going back to the drawing board, we kept our customers’ and the environment’s needs at the heart of the unit’s design,” said Graham Wells, vehicle-powered truck product manager for Thermo King in Europe, Middle East, and Africa. “Battery autonomy, battery lifecycle, and intelligent power management between the refrigeration unit and the battery-electric vehicle are some of the central elements behind the design of the E-Series to achieve the highest efficiency possible. Subsequently, the new E-Series will have the least impact on the vehicle’s range and provide our customers with increased value while contributing to a lower total cost of ownership.”

The E-Series was showcased in collaboration with Iveco, fitted on their new zero-emission Iveco eDaily. “We are proud to launch our ground-breaking eDaily at IAA Transportation,” said Vittorio Bussi, head of Iveco commercial vehicle product management. “It is the culmination of Iveco’s experience in electric propulsion technology and incorporated real-mission feedback from our customers. It preserves the legendary robustness, reliability, performance, and versatility of our iconic Daily.”

Bussi went on to note that the eDaily has been designed leveraging Iveco’s partnership with bodybuilders, making it the first electric LCV adaptable to a wide range of conversions and applications, enabled by its trademark flexible chassis. “The fully modular battery set makes it the perfect companion for all missions, and there’s more: the new eDaily introduces electric power take-offs (ePTOs) up to 15 kW, which also deliver energy when the e-motor is switched off – a game changer ideal for applications such as refrigerated transport,” he expanded. “Iveco and Thermo King have fulfilled customer needs in every mission with this exceptional new range.” You can read more about Iveco’s eDaily on page 32.

The new E-Series unit is connected to and powered directly by the vehicle’s battery. To deliver optimal temperature-control performance with reduced energy consumption, it features patented, custom-designed inverter technology and a powerful variable-speed hermetic refrigeration compressor. The patented control and power management system intelligently optimises the supply and demand of power in real time, minimising the impact on the vehicle’s battery when the vehicle is en route or completing a delivery.

The profile design of the new E-Series makes it versatile and easy to install on panel vans, chassis cab trucks, and other types of vehicle conversions. The compact design of the unit delivers extremely high performance with half the weight of an equivalent legacy unit. The E-Series will be available for both single and multi-temperature transport, with both cooling and heating modes to fit customers’ multiple application needs.  

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Focus on Transport

FOCUS on Transport and Logistics is the oldest and most respected transport and logistics publication in southern Africa.
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