Sustainable Management of Transport Logistics

17. August 2017 – Truck fuelled by liquefied natural gas has covered more than 50,000 kilometers for the DRÄXLMAIER Group.

DRÄXLMAIER is managing its transport logistics even more effectively by using environmentally friendly fuels: After making initial test drives in December 2016, the company attained positive results this year with a truck fuelled by LNG. It has resulted in CO2 savings of 18 percent.

After the successful test phase, DRÄXLMAIER is now routinely using the truck  in northern Italy. The vehicle has already covered 53,000 kilometers. The goods are transferred to a diesel truck by the LNG truck at Lake Garda for further transport. "There is a sufficient number of LNG service stations on our route in Italy", explained Jürgen Wallner, who is the responsible Innovations Manager for transport solutions in the DRÄXLMAIER Group. "But we need a denser network of service stations along our transport routes for comprehensive use of LNG trucks – particularly in Germany."  

Emission of greenhouse gases is reduced by 18 percent

The DRÄXLMAIER Group has subjected the truck filled with liquified natural gas (briefly referred to as LNG for liquified natural gas) to a successful long-term test. Over a period of several months, the truck made successful shipments in northern Italy. The truck covered 9,000 kilometers in March 2017 alone. The truck emitted around 18 percent less greenhouse gas than a comparable diesel truck over the entire period of the test. "With that, the LNG truck is much more climate-friendly than a diesel truck", Wallner explained.

In addition to the road tests, loading the LNG truck including the trailer was tested on the rolling highway "RoLa" between Trient and Wörgl and between Novara and Freiburg. The combination of road and rail not only increases the action radius of the truck. As the railway line is primarily operated by hydropower, emission is reduced even further. 

Favorable effects in particulate matter, nitrogen oxide and  sound emission

The positive results that DRÄXLMAIER has attained with the LNG truck are also being confirmed by scientific studies. According to them, LNG trucks are more environmentally friendly in many ways than diesel trucks.  Nitrogen oxide emissions by LNG trucks are around 40 percent less than the Euro VI norm for diesel vehicles. Particulate emissions even amount to 5 percent of the Euro VI limit for diesel. Noise pollution is also reduced: Today's LNG engines are reducing the perceptible sound level by 50 to 70 percent. DRÄXLMAIER became aware of the technology at an early stage and carried out the first test drives in as early as 2013. "To reduce CO2 we want to apply the lever in long-distance traffic, because that is where the level is most powerful", Wallner said.

The truck also impressed the DRÄXLMAIER Group from a technical point of view in the long-term test: The vehicle proved to be very reliable throughout the test phase. "The LNG truck mastered its transport duties with flying colors", said Wallner. "During the test period, there were no technical problems and the response by the drivers was very favorable."

The DRÄXLMAIER Group is continually analyzing sustainable concepts for Transport Logistics. The LNG technology also has other potential for improvement: Both liquified biomethane (also briefly known as LBM) and the methane gained in renewable power generation ("power-to-gas") can be mixed with LNG, which enables further reduction of CO2 emissions.

The DRÄXLMAIER Group supplies premium automobile manufacturers worldwide with complex wiring harness systems, central electrical and electronic components, exclusive interiors, and storage systems for electric mobility. The combination of core competencies in the interior, electrical, electronic and storage systems areas makes DRÄXLMAIER unique in the industry. The company thereby covers the entire process chain, from the initial idea, through the development and production process, and up to precisely in-sequence delivery of the products to the assembly lines of premium automobile manufacturers. The inventor of the customer-specific wiring harness, the DRÄXLMAIER Group develops pioneering wiring harness technology as well as electrical and electronic components, all directly in-house. These include multi-voltage and high-voltage wiring harness systems, battery management systems, and intelligent power distributors. DRÄXLMAIER is working on the future of emission-free mobility with its solution for low-voltage and high-voltage storage systems. As a market leader for interior systems in premium automobiles, the DRÄXLMAIER Group also supplies premium automobile manufacturers with ambient lighting, center consoles, door panels and instrument panels, as well as complete door and cockpit modules.

The DRÄXLMAIER Group is an international automotive supplier with more than 60  sites in over 20 countries. Founded in Germany in 1958, the company employs about  70,000 employees throughout the world. For the DRÄXLMAIER Group as an owner-managed business, responsible and long-range thinking has always been the basis for economic success. It is therefore a core element of its strategy to design its business and production processes, as well as its products, in a more sustainable manner and in that way to increase the competitiveness of the company on a long-term basis.

In 2018, the DRÄXLMAIER Group generated sales of 4.6 billion euro. Customers of this member of the Top 100 Automotive Suppliers include Audi, BMW, Jaguar, Land Rover, Maserati, Mercedes-Benz, MINI, Porsche and Volkswagen, as well as Californian automotive manufacturers.

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