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12/5/2018
DACHSER focuses on lithium-ion technology

By 2022, logistics provider DACHSER plans to replace all of its roughly 6,000 ground conveyors in Europe with vehicles powered by energy-saving lithium-ion batteries.
Li-Ion Ground conveyors charging at Dachser cross docking hall
Lithium-ion technology

Compared to conventional lead-acid batteries, the lithium-ion variety lasts three times longer and boasts significantly shorter charging times. This increases the flexibility of using vehicles equipped with these batteries, and does away with the need for special rooms set aside for battery charging. The resulting freed-up space in transit terminals can be used for cargo handling. The switch is also good news for environmental sustainability. For one thing, the conventional batteries, which have to be replaced after about 1,200 charging cycles, contain lead, a toxic heavy metal. For another, the lithium-ion batteries conserve energy and thus save some 1,600 kilograms of CO2 per vehicle per year. Multiply that by 6,000 ground conveyors and you get 9.6 million kilograms of CO2 annually.

“DACHSER invests continuously in cutting-edge logistics facilities and equipment, which ultimately enhances the quality of its services,” explains Michael Schilling, DACHSER’s COO Road Logistics. “This modernization project is an excellent example of how profitability and sustainability can go hand in hand, which in turn produces benefits for our customers.” By 2022, DACHSER wants to convert all its Road Logistics locations in Europe to this new technology. The switch will be made step by step; locations will not operate both technologies together.

DACHSER boosts the development of the technology

Lithium-ion technology has already been successfully introduced in the Radeburg and Erlensee (Food Logistics) branches, and will now be followed by construction and expansion of facilities, for example in Freiburg and Munich, the plans for which will include the necessary electrical infrastructure from the outset. Although the process is expected to be completed only by the end of 2022, it should be noted that in the Iberian peninsula, and until now, five per cent of the equipment has already been replaced, mainly in Alicante and Valencia branches.

As for battery technology, charging infrastructure, and energy management software, the logistics provider has selected Triathlon to be its preferred supplier. “Together with our partners, we will be driving forward the development of ground conveyor technology,” explains André Bilz, Team Leader Fleet Management Terminal Equipment at DACHSER. He also added that the aim is to increase the vehicles’ usability by making them smaller, more maneuverable, and more lightweight.

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