The Big Show

In the German city of Hanover, across some 270,000 square metres of exhibition area, the IAA TRANSPORTATION event is held making it the largest of its type in the world.

The numbers are astounding. Beginning with 1,402 exhibitors from 42 countries and a total of 230 national and international speakers.  Almost a quarter of a million visitors hail from 72 different countries.

A showcase of technical innovations, developments and concepts for tomorrow’s climate-neutral mobility, IAA TRANSPORTATION 2022 was much more than a truck show.

Exhibitors provided information across the entire logistics spectrum ranging from trucks to cargo bikes and delivery vans to parcel drones.

This year’s event was heavily geared around low and zero emission transportation.

Many of the global innovations on show focused on the electrification and climate neutrality of the drive train.

The OEM vehicle manufacturers presented a huge variety of electric and fuel cell-based drives as well as hydrogen combustion engines.

There was also an evident trend involving replacement kits that enable the diesel drives fitted in buses and trucks to be replaced by a new battery drive system.

Mercedes-Benz GenH2 fuel cell truck.

This concept will enable haulage companies and local transport companies to modernise their existing vehicle fleets during ongoing operations.

Bodywork and trailer exhibitors also presented a wide range of innovations which included electrified trailer axles and lightweight trailers that will reduce the towing vehicle’s energy requirements.

The battery-electric eActros LongHaul long-distance truck unveiled by Daimler proved a highlight of the show.

The German manufacturer first announced the 40-tonne truck back in 2020 and the ‘concept prototype’ was shown to the public here for the first time exactly two years later.

The eActros LongHaul was displayed indicative of the ‘design theme’ of the series-production vehicle and the initial prototypes are already undergoing intensive testing.

Locally, the eActros LongHaul will be tested on public roads later this year, with near- production prototypes available to be provided to customers for real-world use testing during 2023, with series production planned for 2024. On a single battery charge the eActros LongHaul will have a range of around 500 kilometres.

The e-truck will enable high-performance charging – or so-called “megawatt charging” which can take the battery charge from 20 per cent to 80 per cent in just 30 minutes.

Mercedes-Benz eActros LongHaul.

Also displayed was an Actros powered by a hydrogen fuel cell from industry leader CellCentric which is also working closely with other European OEMs to develop hydrogen powered vehicles which are considered the future for higher weight long haul applications such as in Australia. The eEconic waste truck fits well into the requirement for silent urban operations.

Bosch eDistance truck powertrain concept.

Also featuring on the Daimler display was the next generation Fuso eCanter which had been unveiled just weeks previously in Japan. Fuso has adopted the eAxle concept in the Next Generation eCanter, integrating the motor with the rear axle and allowing for a more compact drivetrain structure.

The Next Generation eCanter line-up includes approximately 80 variants for overseas markets to address a wider range of logistics needs. In addition to the current 7.5 tonne (GVW) model, the new vehicle comes in weight classes ranging from 5 tonnes to 8 tonnes for Japanese customers, and starts from the 4 tonne class for overseas models.

The cab variation has also been expanded with a 2,130mm wide cab in addition to the standard cab width (1,700mm). With the Next Generation eCanter, Fuso is introducing a new modular concept for the batteries. The vehicle can house one to three batteries, based on the wheelbase.

The vehicles equipped with a single battery with a rated capacity of 41 kWh can drive approximately 80 kilometres on one charge, while those with two batteries can be driven for approximately 140 km, and those with three batteries around 200 km.

New cellcentric fuel cell system.

The new model is also equipped with the “ePTO” power take-off unit which enables special purpose applications for customers wishing to operate their eCanter with a tipper, rear crane, or climate-controlled van body, among other various options.

Engine manufacturer Cummins showcased its engine strategy and its fuel-agnostic approach in both its heavy- and medium-duty engine line-ups.

Cummins new fuel agnostic X series platform.

In addition to the Cummins fuel cell, the new fuel-agnostic engine platforms will feature a series of engines that are derived from a common base engine–below the head gasket of each engine and will largely have similar components.

Above the head gasket it will have different components for different fuel types. Each engine version will operate using a different, single fuel and these will be purpose-built at the factory, so no switching fuel types once the engine is manufactured.

This new design approach will be applied across the company’s B-, L- and X-Series engine portfolios, which will be available for diesel, natural gas and hydrogen. The engine platform will begin rolling out in 2024.

DAF XD Electric.

Electrical and diesel component manufacturer, Bosch, had its own light and heavy concepts for electric trucks on display while global transmission specialist Allison had its own line up of eAxles, as did Eaton. At the extensive DAF display the emphasis was on electrification and hydrogen without forgetting about conventional diesel.

The MAN eTruck appeared to receive a lot of interest. as did the Hyzon.

IVECO featured a CNG powered S-Way prime mover as well as the latest developments in its joint venture with Nikola including fitting an eAxle driveline. Of note, the Italian concept for a 4×4 ute received some favourable comments from the Aussies attending.

MAN eTGM prime mover.

There were numerous familiar looking vehicles presented by Chinese and other Asian manufacturers such as Quantron and E-Van, mostly powered by eAxles, including a 8×4 agitator truck known as the Han-Van whose grille badge could have been mistaken for that found on vehicles from a well-known French manufacturer.

British manufacturer Tevva also had a range of electric and hydrogen trucks on display. Significantly, Volvo did not have one internal combustion engine (ICE) powered vehicle on its stand.

Accomplished CNG and LNG technology provider, Westport, displayed its hydrogen powered prime mover which was obviously a de-badged Volvo FH.

In addition to diesel and electric power, Scania had its new Opticruise transmission. Meanwhile, Ford trucks, which are manufactured in Turkey, offered their own take on electrification.

Ford electric truck prototype.
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