DACHSER establishes three focus locations for electromobility

At its three 'e-mobility locations' in Freiburg, Hamburg, and Malsch near Karlsruhe, the logistics provider is researching and testing the use of zero-emission technologies as well as intelligent power and load management.

The e-truck is being charged. / Photo: © Jan Potente

DACHSER will develop its branches in Freiburg, Hamburg, and Malsch near Karlsruhe into 'e-mobility locations', where the focus will be on researching climate-friendly technologies and processes as well as intelligent power and load management and testing them for practicality. The long-term aim is to increase the number of zero-emission vehicles throughout DACHSER's European network and achieve the goal of net zero greenhouse gas emissions.

The focus is on battery-electric trucks and cars and their charging infrastructure, the use and self-production of renewable electricity, and intelligent electricity and load management. In addition, there is the testing of hydrogen trucks and the necessary refueling infrastructure.

"We expect road freight transport in the European Union to gradually switch to trucks with zero-emission powertrains in the coming years, either battery-electric or with hydrogen fuel cells, depending on the deployment scenario. With our research and innovation activities, we are already preparing for this far-reaching transformation of the transport and logistics industry," says Alexander Tonn, COO Road Logistics at DACHSER. "Until then, however, there are still a number of challenges to overcome, particularly with regard to the range of the vehicles, the availability of fast-charging infrastructure on highways, and the provision of the corresponding electricity infrastructure by the utilities at our locations."

Focal points of DACHSER's three e-mobility locations

In Freiburg, which will be launched as an "e-mobility site" as early as September 2022, the initial focus will be on intelligent electricity and load management. Different electricity consumers, such as trucks from local and long-distance transport, company cars and employees' cars, as well as industrial trucks and plant technology, are to be linked with the company's own electricity production from photovoltaics and intermediate storage in battery buffers. "Freiburg is a city that has always been considered a pioneer in sustainability. As DACHSER's e-mobility research location, we are contributing to climate protection and the sustainable transformation of our company and the industry," says Michael Gaudlitz, General Manager DACHSER Logistics Centre Freiburg.

Two topics will be addressed in Hamburg from January 2023: First, DACHSER will be using battery-electric local and long-distance trucks as well as intelligent load management in conjunction with stationary cooling technology. Second, new battery-electric refrigerated trailers will be tested in Hamburg. In addition, a hydrogen truck is operating in the metropolitan region's local transport system. "As one of the world's most important logistics locations, the Hanseatic City of Hamburg is one of the most dynamic regions in Europe when it comes to testing and using climate-friendly and emission-free technologies in transport and logistics. We are pleased to be able to make an important contribution here," says Ralf Hansen, General Manager of the two DACHSER Road Logistics locations in Hamburg.

E-mobility project activities at DACHSER in Malsch near Karlsruhe will also begin in January 2023. Battery-electric shuttle and line haul services with semitrailers and swap bodies will then be the focus of practical tests. DACHSER has its own fleet of vehicles at this location. This will allow direct experience to be gained with the use of the new technologies in the process. "Our staff are looking forward to testing new drive technologies and developing them further for daily use in the DACHSER network," says Bernd Großmann, General Manager DACHSER Logistics Centre Karlsruhe in Malsch. "We also want to closely involve some of our customers in the project."

The research activities at the three designated e-mobility locations are part of DACHSER's extensive climate protection measures. These include the fields of action of process and energy efficiency in operations and facilities, as well as research and innovation to promote zero-emission vehicles and renewable energies. In addition, there is the social commitment beyond the boundaries of the company and its core business.

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