Sonnentor charges its electric truck with self-produced solar power

Recently, the organic herb trading company Sonnentor from Austria’s Waldviertel region began transporting its teas and herbs to its customers in the region in an even more environmentally friendly manner. The all-electric truck D 2.1 E-Tech from Renault is used for this purpose.

This makes the organic pioneer the first customer in Austria to opt for the French manufacturer’s two-axle model. The many years of experience with electrically powered vehicles and the performance of the 16-ton truck had ultimately convinced the Waldviertel family business based in Sprögnitz. Especially an organic brand like Sonnentor, which has a particularly sustainable philosophy, “is predestined to invest in the battery-electric future as a pioneer,” says Dragan Gajic, Sales Director Renault Trucks Austria.

Since June of this year, plant logistics and the collection of raw materials from the three original farmers, as well as deliveries to the company’s own store in Zwettl, have been carried out locally with zero emissions and low noise.

Good experience with “Stromern”

Since the founding of Sonnentor by Johannes Gutmann in 1988, the company has been connected to nature and feels a special commitment to it. Sustainability is also one of the company’s core values when it comes to investments. For example, the new high-bay warehouse is also largely made of wood, and the photovoltaic system on the roofs produces a significant part of the electricity required itself. This can also be used to supply the charging stations for the company’s “electric vehicles”. In the passenger car sector, in fact, electrically powered vehicles have already been in use for years, and they work excellently in the appropriate application areas. Thus, the acquisition of the electric truck was a logical consequence of the good experience gained so far.

Sonnentor graphic designer Beate is responsible for the appealing design of the e-truck

Gerhard Leutgeb, Sonnentor Managing Director: “With the use of the e-truck, we show once again: there is another way! On the Sonnentor premises and in the region, we are on the road with our raw materials and over 900 products from now on electrically and thanks to the energy from our photovoltaic systems, even more climate-friendly.”

Requirements met

Silvio Ive, e-mobility expert at Renault Trucks Austria: “The requirement that the customer placed on us was clearly formulated: The electric Renault Truck D 2.1 must replace the existing diesel truck without any restrictions. We succeeded excellently in this with the configuration of the two-axle truck including four 66 kWh battery packs with a payload of 7,395 kilograms. In addition, with our range analysis tool, we were also able to simulate the corresponding mileage over the entire runtime in a highly satisfactory manner.”

The D 2.1 E-Tech can meet the range requirement thanks to its battery capacity of 265 kWh and thus a realistic range of 200 kilometers. Two newly installed 180 kW truck fast-charging pillars ensure rapid intermediate charging if the shift does take longer. The Renault D 2.1 has a charging capacity of 150 kW, which means it can be fully recharged within a very short time, depending on the state of charge.

Managing Director Gerhard Leutgeb (right) and Fleet Manager Markus Doppler also lend a hand themselves from time to time

Cost and CO2 reduction

On its scheduled routes through the Waldviertel region, the Renault Truck never runs out of energy. Its AC synchronous motor delivers 130 kW continuous power and up to 185 kW peak power. 425 Nm of torque provide the necessary propulsion for the 16-ton truck.

Driver Gerhard Dornhackl has also already recognized the benefits of electric driving and puts it so aptly after his first tours: “Not even the cats feel disturbed by the whisper-quiet Renault and remain sitting on the road as quiet as a mouse.” With the electric truck, Sonnentor now saves 7,000 liters of diesel per year at a mileage of 35,000, which corresponds to 22 tons of CO2eq.

Peter Grett based on a press release from Sonnentor and Renault Trucks Austria.
Pictures: Sonnentor Trading Company

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