Renault Trucks has had quite the show lately. These last years have been amazingly impressive for their research team. It all began with their Urban Lab 1 and has evolved to urban lab 2 and the reduction of nearly 13% the usage of fuel.
The Origin of This Revolution
Renault Trucks had been doing several tests with vehicles specially designed for city delivery. The Urban Lab 1, designed with the goal of loading and unloading its cargo quickly. The Dutch E-trucks from Gemco were an important contribution to Urban Lab 1.
Those trucks designed by Urban Lab 1 were equipped of a special suspension on the front and rear wheels that allowed the trucks to lower the truck to a ground level, making it easier to load and unload a truck. Renault claimed that the load and unload times were reduced by 30%, thanks to the Urban Lab 1 research.
Urban Lab 1 was based on a sixteen Ton Midlum DXi 5 truck, with a maximum load capacity of 8 or 9 Tons. To be able to lower its stance to ground level, the rear wheels were helped by internal motors that were fed by a diesel-fueled engine, though it could also work with electricity, which is quite an advantage when city (or even residential) deliveries are due. The Hybrid company Gemco E-Trucks was the partner on that project.
Urban Lab 2
Urban Lab 2 has achieved the unthinkable; Renault has made a breakthrough by reducing the use of fuel by 12.8% and has also reduced de CO2 emissions from their trucks. More than seven months of trials and 4.500 kilometers traveled on regular roads or by dynamometer bench has been used to achieve such magnificent results.
Test simulated road conditions and weather so that measurements could be the closest to reality. On a side, tests on a reference truck were made, truck that had geometrical and engine sizes similar to those of Urban Lab 2 truck (a 19 Ton D wide, with a refrigerated Lamberet box attached to it).
On other topic, Renault has also worked with Lamberet on the truck’s aerodynamics. Evaporators have been added to the box’s roof, which improves air circulation. Besides this, Renault has added accessories such as step hatches, fairing on the wheels, a roof deflector, a spoiler and fairing on the sides of the Truck’s cab.
Asides from all the tech mentioned above, Urban Lab 2 comes with Michelin’s prototype tires, designed to reduce resistance when rolling, without damaging the rest of the features of the truck, making this truck a true beauty.
The navigation system incorporated to the Urban Lab 2 truck has been developed by BeNomad, and it also has a traffic light communication system, letting the driver know when he or she will encounter a red light, allowing them to take action based on their needs. In this way, connected to the cities, Urban Lab 2 Truck can calculate if it’s saving more when it’s time to hit the gas, or the brakes.