Danfoss drives electric truck from Denmark to Le Mans in France

Wednesday, May 29, 2024
  • The 20-ton, 17-meter-long electric Danfoss truck is accompanying 47 electric cars on “the world’s biggest electric road trip”
  • The Danfoss truck is participating in the journey to highlight the electrification and decarbonizing potential of heavy transport
  • The journey aims to dispel range anxiety and demonstrate that it is possible to electrify transport to a much greater extent than is commonly perceived today

Danish engineering group Danfoss announced today that it will drive one of its electric trucks from Denmark to Le Mans, France to coincide with the 24-hour race event, together with 47 electric cars. The 20-ton and 17-meter-long electric truck will be joining what the organizers call “the world’s biggest electric road trip”.

The electric truck is part of Danfoss' fully electric truck fleet. It will participate in the journey to highlight the electrification and decarbonization potential of heavy transport and the many technological solutions that already exist today. The truck contains several essential components from Danfoss, which has seen significant growth in its electrification business in recent years. 

"48% of all trucks in Denmark drive less than 300 kilometers per day. Therefore, we see neither technological nor practical barriers to converting to fully electric trucks. To ensure the best possible productivity, the charging infrastructure should primarily be established at locations such as freight terminals, so that loading time is equal to charging time. We are sending one of our eight electric trucks to Le Mans to prove that it is possible to cover longer distances already today. In other words, for a large part of the trucks, there is no reason to have range anxiety, and at the same time electrification

of heavy transport will make a significant contribution to the green transition," says Torben Christensen, Chief Sustainability Officer at Danfoss. 

According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), trucks and other heavy transport emitted 1.776 million tons of CO2 annually in 2020. 

The journey is organized as a non-profit event by the company GodEnergi and aims to dispel range anxiety and demonstrate that it is possible to electrify transport to a much greater extent than is commonly perceived today. 

"We are 115 participants in this road trip who love motorsport and cars, and at the same time want to prove that it is possible to cover long distances in electric vehicles. The technology and the opportunities are there. We are pleased to be joined by Danfoss and their electric truck since it is a company famous for their solutions and technology within electrification,” says Jan Darville, CEO of GodEnergi.


Electrified all the way from Nordborg, Denmark to Le Mans, France

The electric road trip consisting of the 47 electric cars and the electric truck will officially depart from Danfoss’ headquarters in Nordborg on the island of Als in Southern Jutland on June 12.

From Nordborg, the delegation will cross the border into Germany and reach the Netherlands later that same day for a lay-over.

On 13 June, the delegation will continue from the Netherlands through Belgium to the final destination: Le Mans in France. The entire convoy consists entirely of electric vehicles, and all aspects of the road trip are electrified. The participants will be relying on power from the participating cars for their camp, including when they will cook their food on electric barbecue grills.


Facts: Danfoss technology in the truck 

Normally, the E-truck is part of Danfoss’ internal operations driving cargo between production facilities and logistical sites. Additionally, the truck is packed with solutions and components from Danfoss’ own portfolio.

Danfoss Editron is supplying the ED3 onboard charger and electric power supply to Volvo electric trucks, which enables fast overnight AC charging and is a key enabler to electrifying on-highway trucks and buses as well as off-highway vehicles. The ED3’s dual functionality provides 43 kW of power to charge a truck overnight (8-9hrs) while using readily available AC power outlets. This enables the quick deployment of EV trucks while minimizing the charging infrastructure costs for the end-users. 

While DC charging is more rapid and usually the preferred option, the ability to rapidly charge with AC power (that is to plug directly into the utility grid for charging) is crucial to providing flexibility for heavy-duty electric vehicles. Rapid AC charging is necessary to eliminate range anxiety for commercial vehicles operating on variable routes or vehicles at construction sites where it is not possible to access DC charging. 

This unique product also acts as a 44 kW electric power take-off (ePTO) to power vehicle auxiliary functions, such as the compressors on refrigerated trucks and compactors on refuse trucks, as well as work functions on off-highway vehicles such as excavators and wheel loaders. 

Semikron Danfoss supplies SKAI High Voltage (HV) traction inverters for Volvo Trucks' electric trucks. The traction inverter plays a crucial role in controlling the flow of electrical energy from the battery to the electric motor that drives the vehicle. Precise control of the flow is essential to enable smooth acceleration, deceleration, and efficient energy consumption. Essentially, the inverter acts as the direct extension of the vehicle's accelerator, determining how fast and how hard the motor should work, based on driver input.

The inverter is also the part of the powertrain that converts direct current (DC) from the battery to alternating current (AC), which the electric motor needs. Finally, it is the inverter that enables the so-called regenerative braking, which extends the range of the electric vehicle by producing new electrical energy for the battery when the vehicle brakes and decelerates.

Skai HV is designed for use in buses, construction machinery, marine vessels, and trucks and is among the market's most robust and proven inverters for heavy duty electric vehicles.


For further information please contact:

Mikkel Ballegaard Pedersen, Public Relations Manager

Ph: +45 26 10 95 19 Email: mikkel.ballegaard@danfoss.com