Renault Trucks and Coca-Cola Enterprises Belgium (CCEB) are joining forces to reduce the environmental impact of their activities. To achieve this, Renault Trucks is making a test vehicle with a hybrid propulsion system available to Coca-Cola Enterprises Belgium - a move which will speed up development of the Renault Premium Distribution Hybrys Tech by having it used under actual operating conditions. Furthermore, Renault Trucks is training HGV drivers in rational driving via the Optifuel Programme. Initiatives which are designed to significantly reduce fuel consumption - and proportionately lower carbon dioxide emissions.
Driven by a shared determination to reduce their environmental impact, Renault Trucks and CCEB Belgium are becoming partners in an initiative to develop hybrid technology. The two companies have decided to pool their resources for using and developing a hybrid vehicle by testing it under actual operating conditions.
HGVs of the future
This resulted in CCEB being given the keys of a Renault Premium Distribution Hybrys Tech on Wednesday 23 September, the first hybrid heavy goods vehicle of its category to be registered in Belgium. This vehicle will be operated on Belgian roads for the next year, supplying stores, bars and restaurants with the famous brand's products.
Hybrid technology associates an electric motor (used to start the vehicle) with a "conventional" internal combustion engine, which takes over at the first gearshift. It is particularly suitable for use in an urban environment and for distribution activities, since the batteries are charged during the frequent braking and deceleration phases. Apart from offering greater comfort and extremely quiet operation, much appreciated by the Belgians, the hybrid solution also enables consumption to be reduced by around 20% - resulting in a proportionately lower level of carbon dioxide emissions for the environment.
The Renault Premium Distribution Hybrys Tech has been developed around a 4x2 Renault Premium Distribution with a 6x2*4 configuration and a steering axle in the rear, giving it the extra manoeuvrability it will need to successfully negotiate city streets.
It is equipped with a DXi7 Euro V 340 hp diesel engine associated with the Optidriver+ gearbox and an electrical assembly located in the wheelbase, which includes the traction batteries, control electronics, power distribution circuits and the cooling system. Air suspension is used in both front and rear.
For the bodywork, Renault Trucks decided to consult Coca-Cola Enterprises Belgium's usual bodybuilder.
Drivers of the future
Renault Trucks has been organising its Optifuel Programme training sessions since 2007. They raise drivers' awareness about - and encourage them to adopt - a defensive and rational driving style, in line with the new European directive which came into force in Belgium on 10 September. Lasting between one and three days, the instruction is provided by Renault Trucks experts and backed by Optifuel Infomax, a software program for analysing consumption, as well as monitoring it over a period of time. This enables best practices in terms of driving and their positive impact on the environment to be seen in a broader perspective.