Y Drive Dutch Trailer Consortium

Dutch companies form yDrive to electrify trailer powertrains

June 22, 2023
The yDrive project aims to electrify conventional trailers, thus cutting the road freight transport's global CO2 emissions contribution.

A consortium of six Dutch organizations is joining forces to develop an electric powertrain for trailers under the name yDrive. The consortium consists of Econogy, Drive Line Systems (DLS), V-Tron, TNO, THT New Cool, and RAI Association, who want to develop propulsion technology that will further reduce fuel consumption and contribute to the reduction of CO2 emissions and harmful substances.

To do this, yDrive consists of an electrically driven axle, a rechargeable battery pack, a kingpin sensor, and a smart controller that works both with and without communication with the truck. This technology creates a hybrid combination, through which braking energy is regenerated and stored in a trailer battery during deceleration and downhill events.

During acceleration, the energy from the battery is used to drive the trailer. This provides an extra boost to help the truck move, consuming less fuel, and allowing the truck to be equipped with a smaller engine. Additionally, yDrive can serve as a range extender for BEV or FCEV trucks.

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The objective of this project is a CO2 and fuel reduction of 20% in city distribution, 15% in regional distribution, and 10% in long-distance transport. The total fleet in Europe exceeds 3 million trailers, but if the entire fleet were to be fitted with yDrive, more than 1% of total CO2 emissions could be reduced, and the product would pay for itself within the economic lifetime of the trailer.