DHL testing solar auxiliary power on fleet

Deutsche Post DHL Group has announced it is to test a TRAILAR solar powered fuel conservation system for road transport.

The TRAILAR system involves using a thin film, flexible solar matting on the roofs of rigid vehicles. The photovoltaic matting is connected to the vehicle battery or additional on-board batteries. The energy harvested from the sun is used to power tail lifts as well as all other ancillary equipment including air conditioning.

The idea behind the system is to reduce carbon emissions and lower fuel consumption by 5%, at the same time increasing engine energy efficiency and longevity.

“Our TRAILAR solution is a key contributor to our GoGreen program and takes us a big step forward towards our goal of becoming the zero-emissions logistics leader by 2050,” explains Thomas Ogilvie, Deutsche Post DHL Group board member for Human Resources and Corporate Incubations. “However, while we are improving our environmental footprint, we also want to increase our corporate success. TRAILAR is another great proof point for the fact that cost and emission reductions are not mutually exclusive, but can complement each other.”

“TRAILAR is a sustainable, efficient and cost-effective solution which makes a significant contribution to reducing emissions from road transport,” affirm Aaron Thomas and Denny Hulme, co-founders of TRAILAR. “We have developed a solution which implements the latest solar technology onto new and existing vehicles, so that our customers can operate more cleanly and efficiently. It helps the road transport industry adjust to a future with higher fuel prices and stricter emissions regulations.”

The technology in question has been co-developed by Deutsche Post DHL and Don-Bur, which is the leading commercial vehicle trailer manufacturer in the United Kingdom. DHL Supply Chain is to trial TRAILAR System in the UK, before this is further examined with the DHL SmartTrucking initiative in India. Once this extended to trial has been completed it will be rolled out globally across the Deutsche Post DHL fleet.