Renault Trucks is leading a collaborative industry project aiming to reduce the fuel consumption of distribution lorries by 13% compared with a current production vehicle.

Six industry partners will be working on the EDIT (efficient distribution truck) project alongside Renault, they are: Valeo, Lamberet, Michelin, BeNomad, INSA de Lyon (LamCoS) and IFSTTAR (LICIT).

Using a Renault Range D Wide Euro-6 truck with refrigerated body as a prototype, the project’s aim is to design and develop a demonstration refrigerated vehicle consuming 13% less fuel than the reference Euro-6 distribution truck.

This demonstration vehicle will have to use technologies that can be made commercially available by 2020, to which each partner is contributing their expertise.

First, the aerodynamics of the vehicle and refrigerated body will be thoroughly revised. Then, the prototype will be fitted with a low voltage macro-hybrid system, which will recover some of the braking energy via a reversible electric system. This will be used to power auxiliary equipment with recovered electrical energy and can also provide occasional support to the internal combustion engine.

A new driving aid system will also be developed during the project. It is to be  connected to traffic lights and able to detect when they will change, so as to define a speed profile minimising fuel consumption. It will also allow drivers to choose the most economic itinerary for their truck.

Finally, the prototype will be testing new tyres with a lower rolling resistance coefficient.

The EDIT project is scheduled to end with the delivery of the first vehicle in 2018, and is expected long-term to lead to new market openings for distribution vehicles in Europe.

By Laura Cullum