Freudenberg ups the ante with electric battery, fuel cell and hybrid systems for heavy duty trucks

by Autocar Pro News Desk , 29 Dec 2020


Freudenberg says it is continuing to advance the development of complete electric battery, fuel cell and hybrid systems for heavy-duty and commercial vehicles. Thanks to targeted development activities, the technology group expanded its market position in 2020, and is playing a pioneering role in electrified drivetrain systems for trucks, buses, ships, and trains.

New collaboration with Quantron 
Freudenberg’s fuel cell technology  has clicked with onshore applications. The company has partnered with Quantron, a specialist in commercial vehicle conversion, to develop a special system for heavy-duty 40-ton trucks. The goal is to test the technology for performance, everyday use suitability and system durability under continuous commercial driving conditions.

The Energy Research Program of the Bavarian State Ministry of Economic Affairs, Regional Development and Energy is funding the project which is one of the first to explicitly support fuel cell development for heavy-duty commercial vehicle deployment. The plan is to have a first test vehicle with the new drivetrain technology on Bavarian roads by mid-2021. The vehicle, named Energon, was presented to the public in early August 2020.

And in late 2019, Freudenberg announced partnership agreements with FlixBus for buses with fuel cell drivetrains and with the U.S. manufacturer Motor Coach Industries for long-distance buses with high-energy lithium-ion battery packs.

A look to the future
Freudenberg’s batteries and fuel cells, or even a combination of the two, are also putting rail travel on the right track – particularly when it comes to non-electrified branch lines and shunting traffic.

Freudenberg experts consider hybrid solutions, i.e. a combination of fuel cell and battery, ideal for heavy-duty and commercial vehicles. The two technologies complement each other – and provide distinct advantages when it comes to weight, installation space and range. Freudenberg can deliver both systems from a single source, also achieving optimal configuration for customers. Whether battery separators, fuel cell membranes, cells, stacks or complete solutions, the technology group has unique value creation expertise.