The innovative demonstrator technology SmartVan IoT, designed on the basis of eSprinter by EV Fleet and Mercedes-Benz Autotrade, takes up the challenge over a distance of 200 kilometers in an urban environment.
The SmartVan IoT technology demonstrator is an electric delivery vehicle with its own operating system, built on the basis of an eSprinter. There are many innovative solutions on board, using i.e. the Internet of Things, MATRIX 3D identification system designed by EV Fleet and the compatible SmartPackaging IoT system. The vehicle is also equipped with a cooling unit powered by an independent source, also designed by EV Fleet and supported by photovoltaic panels. On top of that the vehicle is equipped with an isothermal interior system for transporting goods at a controlled temperature, divided into two zones: active and passive. All these solutions are intended to increase efficiency in city logistics, including the optimal use of cargo space, faster order identification, shortening the delivery time and creating intelligent supply chains. This way the environmental impact of transport can also be significantly reduced.
The basis for this innovative vehicle is the Mercedes-Benz eSprinter – selected for this task by EV Fleet, among others, due to the manufacturer’s declared range of 160 km and the ability to quickly charge the battery up to 80%. However, after a few months of our SmartVan exploitation, it turned out that a 4-module battery with a capacity of 47 kWh significantly increased its forecasted range, as a result of proper handling (e.g. charging with free current, appropriate driving technique). Therefore, the EV Fleet company in cooperation with Mercedes-Benz Autotrade decided to take up the challenge called SmartVan Challenge 2021 and check how many kilometers the SmartVan IoT electric vehicle built on the basis of eSprinter will travel in the test, which in 99 percent will map the daily work of a driver who carries out last mile deliveries in city traffic. This test will take place in August 2021. – The goal of our challenge is a distance of 200 km, thus exceeding the maximum range declared by Mercedes-Benz by 40 km – says Daniel Węgrzynek, president of EV Fleet, who will also be the test driver in the SmartVan Challenge 2021 project – We decided to take up this test, because after a short time of using the eSprinter, we could see the progress of the battery, both in terms of the predicted range and the real one. Both of them already exceed the values declared by the manufacturer.
– We know that our vehicle, eSprinter, is well prepared to work in the urban delivery environment and the range of 160 km, which it offers, for many companies, means the ability to freely perform daily operations even without additional charging – says Artur Kwaśniewski, head of the commercial vehicle department at Autotrade . – However, we want to check whether the Sprinter with electric drive can offer even more if used properly. And do it in conditions as close as possible to the real work of the supplier, not in a laboratory or on a test track. The issue of reliable, real coverage in the case of electric delivery vehicles is a very important parameter for our fleet customers and we hope that our joint challenge will provide us with a lot of valuable information.
Main premise and goals of SmartVan Challenge 2021
For the purposes of the test, which will start and end at the new Mercedes-Benz Autotrade headquarters in Marki near Warsaw, the eSprinter-based SmartVan IoT will be loaded to the maximum load of 3490 kg. Before heading out, it will be weighed together with the driver. The goal is to travel 200 km on a single charge in Warsaw with the route consisting of 60% of city center areas and 40% of outside and suburban zones. However, in order to best reflect the real work of the supplier, there will be at least 20 stops simulating unloading at the customer’s site. During the entire test, the driver will drive around the city in accordance with traffic regulations, including all speed limits. In order to increase the efficiency of the battery, the driver will first of all minimize the use of the service brakes, using an effective energy recuperation system in the eSprinter. All receivers that draw energy and reduce the range, such as air conditioning / ventilation and radio, will also be turned off. – My task will be to reduce the average power consumption to a level of no more than 23 kWh for each 100 km traveled and to maintain a constant temperature of 2-8 degrees C in the isotherm – says Daniel Węgrzynek. – In addition to the elements mentioned above, our photovoltaic system installed on the vehicle will support our energy consumption needs – the goal is to generate minimum of 1 kWh during the test. We want to show that zero-emission transport must be viewed more broadly and comprehensively, but also different solutions must be combined to increase efficiency – and that it is already possible.
The course of the entire SmartVan Challenge 2021 will be monitored in several ways. The operational data of cooling will be recorded by a temperature recorder and automatic sensors, Data Loggers, in each of the two isothermal chambers. In addition, video footage from cameras from the vehicle will be available, both from the cargo area and from the front of the vehicle and interior, as well as online live broadcast of the entire challenge. The entire test will be additionally registered by the telematics system.
– Based on the exploitation so far, I believe that our test has every chance of success and may bring a very satisfactory result, and at the same time provide valuable information and convince many companies to the idea of zero-emission urban transport – says Daniel Węgrzynek. – First of all, it is important that our SmartVan based on eSprinter will work in conditions almost identical to those of real suppliers: under full load and on the same routes that delivery vehicles travel on city streets every day. In this way, we will reliably demonstrate that proper exploitation allows you to achieve the efficiency of an electric vehicle at a level higher than its manufacturer declares – and this information is good for everyone.
About the company EV Fleet Sp. z o.o..
EV Fleet Sp. z o.o. is a technology company whose goal is to create an enterprise operating on international markets, providing comprehensive solutions in the field of city logistics using transport based on alternative fuels and propulsions. Combining the extensive experience, business and technological knowledge of the team, the company creates new trends in city logistics and fleet management. The innovativeness written in the company’s DNA allows to introduce progress in the field of urban distribution with maximum respect for the natural environment, safety and energy savings in a market economy.