SAF-HOLLAND rolls out regenerative braking axle

(Image courtesy of SAF-HOLLAND)

SAF-HOLLAND started production of the SAF TRAKr electric trailer axle at its main factory in Bessenbach, northern Bavaria, in October 2022, following a successful testing phase. This is now being ramped up, with its MODUL suspension to be added to its portfolio in the middle of this year.

The main areas of application are refrigerated semi-trailers or container chassis for refrigerated containers, food tankers, silo trailers, walking floors or platform vehicles with a crane. For drivers, there is added comfort on the road due to reduced noise.

The SAF TRAKr trailer axle uses regenerative braking to reduce emissions and fuel consumption. To do this, the centrally positioned, high-voltage generator unit converts the kinetic energy of the trailer into electrical energy. This generated energy is stored in a Li-ion battery and used to run the electrical units in the trailer.

The high-voltage generator module has a maximum design output of 17 kW. The axle is designed for axle loads from 9-10 t and is offered as a water-cooled or air-cooled variant. It is available with different disc brakes for 19.5 in and 22.5 in single tyres, and for the SAF INTRA suspension system. A version for double tyres is under development.

The generator runs independently of the tractor unit while the vehicle is in motion and shuts off during ABS braking or vehicle dynamics control events ensure driving stability.

Maintenance is easy and cost-efficient as neither the centrally installed gearbox with flanged-on generator nor other HV components need to be removed. Wear parts such as brake pads and discs are identical to the components of non-electrified SAF-HOLLAND axles, making spare parts easier to supply.

“We see great opportunities for electrified trailer axles. They reduce CO2 and noise emissions to meet legal requirements; for example, for refrigerated night-time deliveries in urban areas. The electric axles also meet the industry trend towards ‘greener transport’,” says Olaf Drewes, director, group innovation, EMEA, at SAF-HOLLAND.

The SAF TRAKr will be available in combination with the MODUL suspension from mid-2024. The modular structure is designed for the varying requirements of the EMEA, Americas and APAC regions.