How Volvo Penta engineers are serving to OEMs make the transition to electrification


Emobility will play a key position in Volvo Penta‘s mission to develop into a world chief in sustainable energy options. To raised perceive the present challenges round emobility, Volvo Penta engineers have been viewing issues from an operator’s and OEM’s standpoint. 

The transfer to electrical energy options cannot occur on the flick of a change. There’s a lot to know and overcome with regards to this expertise and the way it is going to be carried out by Authentic Gear Producers (OEMs). To realize a deeper understanding of the difficult journey that OEMs should embark upon, Volvo Penta acquired a terminal tractor – a viable product line for electrification – and proceeded to start with the conversion to an electrical driveline in 2015.

Peter Brankell – an software engineer and one of many key gamers within the formation of Volvo Penta’s Industrial Electromobility enterprise – brings quite a lot of data and experience to this mission. He explains: “From the start, we knew materials dealing with can be one of many principal markets for electrification, with its identified drive cycles, excessive machine utilization, and the mounted atmosphere of a harbour with energy infrastructure. In a wider context, it could assist us acquire higher perception into the challenges and alternatives within the set up course of, which is paramount when designing driveline options for OEMs.”

Most producers are expert at implementing an inner combustion engine into their driveline however creating an entirely electrical driveline is a very completely different state of affairs. It not solely requires the mixing of a complete array of various elements, however complicated software program calibration and new types of intensive testing strategies to optimize system behaviour for exact efficiency throughout a spread of various automobiles. 


Volvo Penta engineer Kerstin Kha, who has focussed solely on electromobility initiatives since she joined the corporate from its graduate program 18 months in the past, and Felix Engström, Venture Supervisor Verification.

Hours upon hours of discipline testing 

Finishing up real-life testing in Sweden’s Port of Gothenburg, the tractor was initially run with its present diesel driveline, with its efficiency monitored to supply a baseline for future developments. 

For inner testing functions, the tractor was then rebuilt in the identical diesel-electric parallel hybrid configuration utilized in Volvo’s hybrid buses. Simulations of various drive cycles have been carried out on this diesel-electric parallel hybrid model of this tractor. This testing finally confirming a 30 p.c enhance in effectivity over a typical operation cycle. It was clear the crew had created a profitable proof of idea that was prepared for market suggestions and might be utilized to off-road functions. 

The tractor was then transformed to totally electrical utilizing confirmed electromobility expertise from Volvo Group, specifically the batteries and a pair of electrical motors linked to the gearbox. Nevertheless, the functions Volvo Penta is working with have extra space restrictions normally in comparison with Volvo vehicles and bus automobiles. Due to this fact, Volvo Penta tailored the packaging answer of the driveline to the terminal tractor design. 

Intensive testing then ensued, with the fully-electric tractor configuration accumulating 440 hours over 4 months on the port as every thing from sturdiness to driveability was step by step enhanced, earlier than one other 300 hours of testing with simulation fashions adopted on a practical check platform at Volvo Penta’s amenities in Gothenburg. 


Volvo Pentas software engineer, Peter brankell.

The Rosenbauer electrical fireplace truck

The tractor with the electrical driveline was first exhibited at TOC 2019, and the next 12 months additional proof of the driveline’s nice potential got here with the announcement that Austrian OEM Rosenbauer can be utilizing it in its forthcoming municipal fireplace truck, RT Revolutionary Know-how. This electrical fireplace truck was purpose-built to benefit from the brand new expertise, enabling main enhancements when it comes to decreasing its middle of gravity and enhancing entry for firefighters carrying heavy tools.

As soon as Rosenbauer’s electrical fireplace truck goes into manufacturing this 12 months, the terminal tractor will proceed to play a key position as a check platform for Volvo Penta engineers to adapt their electromobility portfolio to future automobile partnerships.  The mixture of elements can stay usually unchanged, simply leaving the inevitable software program and wiring adjustments to fulfill new calls for.



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