Source: Tropos Motors, 2021-06-22
Is your battery flat? No power in sight? If Tropos Motors Europe has its way, these concerns will soon be a thing of the past. The electric utility vehicle manufacturer from Herne, Germany, is testing integrated solar power facilities in its vehicle box bodies. Thanks to this forward-looking technology, it should soon be possible for operators to use the Tropos ABLE models regardless of whether they have any contact with external sources of electricity; this will also significantly increase the vehicles’ range. The pilot project starts at the end of June and will initially continue for four months.
“We’re expecting nothing less than a revolution in the market for electric utility vehicles,” says Markus Schrick, Managing Director of Tropos Motors Europe. “Initial trials suggest that it could work. We’re now closely testing the technology in real operating conditions to see whether it’s efficient and can be used for other purposes and applications as well. We want to fully analyse the benefits that the solar panels could have for our customers.”
What is ground-breaking about the new technology is the way that it can be integrated in the design, for the solar panels replace existing structural elements and are therefore fully integrated in the Tropos ABLE bodywork without increasing the weight. The company expects that the self-sufficiency created by solar energy will significantly increase the e-transporters’ range. This reduces charging costs, means that they do not depend on other sources of electricity and improves the carbon footprint, as it prevents any CO2 emissions that accrue when using a traditional mix of electricity.
Within the pilot project, Tropos will also examine possibilities of how the additional electricity can be used. The options include, for example, external power supplies to charge other vehicles or supplying energy to other terminal devices and batteries, e.g. for chainsaws or hedge trimmers.
“We view Tropos as an ecosystem consisting of a vehicle, bodywork and digitalisation. Innovative solutions, which create sustainable value added for our customers, are an integral part of our philosophy,” Schrick adds.
The Tropos ABLE models create no emissions when on the move. With their compact width of 3.70 metres and small turning circle of 3.96 metres, the electric utility vehicles can be used both on the open road and in enclosed areas. The electric vehicles can fully exploit their benefits during the last mile and close the gap between cargo bikes and small vans. Thanks to their enormous payload area and cargo volume measuring as much as 4.5 m3, the Tropos ABLE vehicles provide huge transport capacity. Their convincing features mean that a very large target group can use them for a wide variety of purposes: industry and internal logistics, gardening and landscaping, delivery and package services, technical trades and facility management, towns and local authorities, the hospitality and tourism sector, the food retail segment, zoos, leisure parks and sports complexes. They can meet the needs of various sectors and help reduce the CO2 footprint in the long term.