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MAN Truck & Bus and Munich wholesaler Arndt test TGL Hybrid in everyday operation

Customer trials at hygiene specialist will provide important empirical data for optimising hybrid drives for distribution trucks.

The MAN TGL 12.220 Hybrid in customer trial at Munich wholesaler Arndt. Working under its cab is an EEV-compliant four-cylinder common-rail diesel engine with an output of 220 hp. Also integrated in the drive train is a 60 kW electric motor.

At hygiene specialist Arndt, cleanliness is now an inbuilt feature of daily distribution transport. In cooperation with MAN Truck & Bus AG, the wholesaler for cleaning and hygiene products has been testing two MAN TGL 12.220 Hybrid trucks at its Munich site since April this year. The customer trial is taking place in the framework of the "HyTruck" project (modular hybrid drives for commercial vehicles) funded by the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology. The conclusion of the project in September will see the collection of important insights, which MAN will use in further optimising its hybrid trucks.

For many years, Arndt GmbH und Co. KG has been relying on innovative commercial vehicles from MAN. In order to save fuel and reduce CO2 emissions, Arndt is especially interested in alternative drives, in particular hybrid technology. "It is specifically in distribution transport that hybrid technology promises significant savings potential. Urban traffic is a big challenge, not just to punctual deliveries but also to the profitable and efficient operation of our fleet of trucks. This is why we didn't hesitate when we were offered two MAN TGL 12.220 Hybrid trucks to test on our routes. Far from hesitating, we are proud that our testing is making a contribution to this innovative technology becoming available for commercial vehicles in future", says Thomas Wölflein, managing director of Arndt.

Trials conducted by customers under real conditions provide valuable information, which MAN believes will enable it to further optimise its hybrid system. For example, data is collected on the loads to which individual hybrid components are subjected and the stability of the system is put to the test. The inner city's stop-and-go traffic not only makes it possible to draw conclusions about the optimum design of hybrid and energy management, it also enables an analysis of energetic behaviour in everyday operation. The continual exchanges with Arndt's logistics experts provide additional helpful information as to the functionality of the hybrid system. MAN utilises the data collected in the trial to derive the requirements that hybrid systems will in future have to meet, to further improve the handling of the vehicles and lastly, to continue optimising energy management and fuel-saving potential. Since autumn of 2010, several MAN Lion’s City Hybrid buses have been operating successfully in major European cities. Fuel savings of up to 30 percent are possible here, depending on operating conditions. MAN expects that trucks in distribution transport will use up to 15 percent less fuel.

Dr Stefan Kerschl, project manager at MAN Truck & Bus, sees the practical test as an important source of data demonstrating that hybrid systems are capable of withstanding the rigours of day-to-day operation in commercial vehicles: "The Arndt group of companies is predestined for testing the MAN TGL 12.220 Hybrid - its profile exactly matches that of the target group for this type of vehicle. Reliability, economy and efficiency are the major criteria for the success of marketable hybrid drives. Intensive operation in distribution transport is for us a source of valuable insights under real conditions. In order to develop suitable hybrid systems for different classes of vehicle to series maturity, MAN will be putting even more effort into this area."

The MAN TGL 12.220 Hybrid was first presented at the IAA Commercial Vehicles 2010. Working under its cab is an EEV-compliant four-cylinder common-rail diesel engine with an output of 220 hp. Also integrated in the drive train is a 60 kW electric motor. The clutch is located between the combustion engine and the electric motor. This makes it possible to disengage the combustion engine from the drive train, so that the vehicle is driven solely by electrical power. The electric motor is driven by the engine as well as by the generator. In overrun and braking operation, energy can thus be recuperated and stored in a battery. This stored energy can then be put to optimal use in propelling the vehicle as it pulls away under electrical power and in assisting the diesel engine. Besides the combustion engine, electric motor and automated six-speed transmission, the hybrid-drive system as a whole also consists of a compact lithium-ion battery as the high-voltage source and additional power electronics for controlling the electric motor and supplying the 24-V on-board network from the high-voltage system. It performs all the functions of a full-hybrid system: stop/start, recuperation of braking energy, support when accelerating (boosting) and electrically-powered driving. The intelligence of the system is seated in MAN's hybrid energy management, controlling the energy flow between diesel engine, electric motor, energy storage, driving axle and auxiliary units. Here, energy management optimises the torque split between the diesel engine and the electric motor. Apart from that, power on demand is ensured for operation of the auxiliary units. MAN estimates that the TGL Hybrid is currently able to save up to 15 percent on fuel in urban distribution operation.

Hygiene specialist Arndt is a member of igefa, the leading distribution group for professional cleaning, hygiene and care products in Germany. Its product range comprises more than 12,000 professional cleaning and hygiene products from an all-purpose cleaner to paper napkins, for more than 400 different application areas. As one of six groups of companies in igefa, Arndt has five branches in Bavaria with a total of more than 220 employees. 51 delivery vehicles guarantee that around 900 orders are delivered punctually to customers in healthcare, janitorial services, industry, hotels, restaurants and catering every single day.