Monday May 23, 2022

Geodis teams up with Renault Trucks to develop new electric truck for urban logistics

Design idea for the Geodis-Renault urban electric truck
Design idea for the Geodis-Renault urban electric truck

Global supply chain operator Geodis has teamed up with Renault Trucks to develop a new electric, heavy-duty vehicle specially designed for urban freight logistics. The new EV is set to hit the roads in Paris in 2023.

Geodis, which last week revealed that it had recorded revenue growth of 28% year-on-year (YoY) in 2021, is investing heavily in sustainable delivery solutions to meet its target of reducing its CO2 emissions by 30% by 2030. The company is also aiming to provide carbon-free deliveries in 37 cities in France by 2023.

Geodis and Renault Trucks will combine their industrial, logistics and engineering expertise to design the new 16-tonne electric truck, which will be offered at a comparable total-cost of ownership to that of a diesel vehicle.

The new truck, which has been named Oxygen, will be produced at Renault Trucks’ site in Blainville-sur-Orne, France, the first European plant to manufacture series production electric trucks since 2020. Delivery of the first prototype is scheduled for the end of 2022.

As a leading player in sustainable mobility, Renault Trucks has been committed to the development of electric vehicles for the past 10 years. Today, Renault Trucks offers a comprehensive range of fully electric vehicles from 3.1 to 26 tonne for all urban uses, which are mass-produced in its Blainville-sur-Orne plant.

Ergonomics and safety

According to the two companies, the new EV will not only be sustainable, but it will also offer several safety and comfort features for drivers. For example, it will feature a lowered cab giving the driver direct view of the road ahead. It will also feature a large windshield and multiple cameras instead of rear-view mirrors, offering a 360° view.

Furthermore, drivers will be able to get out of the truck on either side and climbing in and out of the vehicle will be made easier by a much lower access height than on a standard delivery truck.

Renault and Geodis are also considering working in partnership with a bodybuilder to look at how the truck can be developed with “optimal ergonomics and easier access to the cargo space… with a view to improving loading/unloading operations in an urban environment.”

Other features include connected tools, which will enable drivers to optimize their delivery operations and routes and a redesigned exterior and interior to ensure that the vehicle blends into the urban landscape.

Low emission zones

Marie-Christine Lombard, Chief Executive Officer of Geodis, said: “The environmental emergency combined with the growth of e-commerce and the implementation of low-emission zones in major French cities mean that we urgently need to step up the decarbonization of transport. This is the objective of Geodis in forming this partnership with Renault Trucks. We want to quickly provide concrete answers to the issue of sustainable urban logistics.”

The low-emissions zones (LEZ) in France, referred to by Lombard, include Paris’s LEZ, which restricts access according to vehicles’ classification in France’s Crit’Air air quality certificate system, which is based on a vehicle’s certification level under the Euro emissions standards and its fuel type. By 2030, under the current implementation plan, only battery-electric and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles will be permitted to enter the LEZ.

Geodis and Renault Trucks will carry out real-world testing of the new EV in Paris in 2023. This will be followed by a phase of adaptation of the vehicle incorporating feedback from drivers covering comfort of use, practicality, recharging, etc., and then by a study to optimize the total cost of ownership.

Bruno Blin, president of Renault Trucks, added: “We have noticed that the image of the truck is changing; at last, it is being perceived as an indispensable tool. The purpose of the Oxygen project is to design a truck that will seamlessly blend into the urban landscape, among other road users in areas with traffic and even in pedestrian zones. This new truck will be designed for the driver’s working comfort and safety, and for the safety of city dwellers.”

SourceGeodis, Renault Trucks, CEP-Research, The International Council on Clean Transportation

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