About the project:

This project will evaluate the technical viability, commercial feasibility and potential emissions benefits of Kinetic Energy Recovery Systems (KERS) retrofitted onto trailers and rigid HGVs. The project partners are Howdens and Sainsbury’s as the fleet operators, Alternatech as the KERS technology provider, and Imperial College London as the independent academic partner. The aim is to demonstrate emissions, noise and fuel consumption reductions on vehicles enabled by the supercapacitor based KERS. The KERS packages are currently being developed and installed onto the vehicles.

KERS technologies, which harvest the braking energy and exploit it in the acceleration phase, could reduce fuel costs and emissions by 30%, contributing to cleaner and more economical urban freight transport. This project will provide reliable data on the performance of the retrofitted KERS as well as modelling tools for further optimisation. Such data and models can be employed to identify the commercial opportunity and environmental benefits, helping Alternatech to promote, price and market the product accordingly. Howdens and Sainsbury’s will use the trial period to evaluate the economic and CSR benefits of using KERS technology. Finally, Imperial College London will disseminate the project’s findings to policymakers and the freight sector, in addition to scientific publications.

Key project details

  • Project partners: Howdens Joinery Group PLC (lead), Sainbury’s Supermarket Ltd, Alternatech Ltd, Imperial College London
  • Trial vehicles:
    • 10 x 44-tonne articulated trailers (Howdens);
    • 10 x 18-tonne rigid HGVs (Sainsbury’s)
  • Duration: 18-month operational trial period starting in August 2017

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