Webasto batteries power innovative e-shuttle
French trucking company Lohr Industries will be launching a fully electric and modular e-shuttle system called the Cristal in four French cities before the end of 2021. The vehicles will be powered by batteries from Webasto, one of the world’s largest automotive suppliers. Some German cities have also signalled their interest.
During rush hours, the Cristal will be used in shuttle mode, with two to four vehicles coupled together under the guidance of a professional driver. This allows up to 64 people to be transported at speeds approaching 31 mph (50 kph). Coupling and uncoupling the shuttles is an automated process that takes less than a minute.
Outside peak hours, or for alternative on-demand transport applications, the Cristal can also be used as an individual vehicle to cover the so-called last mile. In France, a valid car driver’s licence is all that is required for this.
Webasto is providing the drive batteries for the Cristal. This leading system provider in the electromobility segment has a plant in Schierling, Germany, houses one of the most modern battery system production plants in the world, and is capable of producing up to 40,000 batteries a year.
Two batteries with a combined output of 70 kW are used for each Cristal vehicle, giving a range of about 75 miles (121 km). The vehicles are charged either at a central depot or at specific stops along routes that have access to a power supply. The onboard rapid charging system delivers a half charge in 30 minutes and a full charge in 90 minutes.
Some 20 vehicles will be delivered to the cities including Avignon, Orange and Ajaccio. Lohr is also in close contact with representatives of German municipalities regarding their possible use of the Cristal.