Electrification in motion: SAF-Holland

Equipment specialist, SAF-Holland, continues to play a vital role in the decarbonisation and electrification of the national heavy vehicle fleet. Instrumental to this revolution is the e-axle, SAF TRAKr, which recuperates energy during operation and reduces fuel consumption and carbon emissions.

Electric axle technology is changing the game for road freight businesses Australia-wide. The SAF TRAKr e-axle from SAF-Holland generates additional electrical energy to lower the emissions and fuel consumption of a truck and trailer combination. The recuperated energy can be used, for instance, to run the trailer refrigeration unit completely with electricity which also helps to reduce noise generated by the cooling unit diesel engine. This is SAF-Holland’s proactive response to curbing traffic noise, carbon emissions and related environmental concerns.

In addition to supporting reefers, the stored electrical energy from an e-axle can be used to operate an electrical compressor independently from the truck in a tanker or silo vehicle combination; run the moving floor of a moving floor trailer; operate an electrical pump for a hydraulic liftgate separate from the truck; and charge mounted e-forklifts in-transit.

SAF TRAKr is designed for axle loads of nine tonnes and is available with different disc brakes for 19.5” and 22.5” wheels. The axle uses a high-voltage generator module with a maximum power of 20 kW. Also, the differential is connected to both wheel hubs with two shafts for optimal efficiency.

Maintenance work on the axle is also simple and cost-efficient. The drive unit does not have to be removed for uninstalling the wheel ends and wheels. The spare parts supply is also uncomplicated, as wear parts such as brake pads, brake rotors or wheel bearings are identical to the components for the non-driven SAF-Holland axles. This makes the spare parts supply easier and more reliable.

Similar in principle to the SAF TRAKr, the SAF TRAKe electric trailer axle is a more powerful unit designed to operate other components of a trailer but can also be used for the drive mode to bolster the main engine during difficult road conditions.

Last year, SAF-Holland won the European Transport Award for Sustainability for its electric trailer axles in the ‘Components and Aggregates’ category.

The award recognises that acting responsibly not only contributes to solving ecological and social issues but also promotes the competitiveness and profitability of a company.

It is known that SAF-Holland’s e-axle works predominantly in ‘dyno’ mode, effectively using the truck engine to generate electrical power – this is more efficient than using smaller trailer mounted motors such as those found in refrigeration units, pumps and blower. In addition to reducing fuel consumption, the SAF TRAKr also cuts carbon and particulate matter emissions from the trailer. 

Ultimately, SAF-Holland’s e-axles will assist transport operators with cutting operational costs and make heavy duty transport more sustainable. 

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