Solemn handover of the keys: Markus Schell hands over to Matthias Magnor. Prof. Dr. Sabine Bruns-Vietor from the University of Osnabrück evaluates the field trial with her students scientifically.

The Future is Electric – and it Starts Now!

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Hellmann and BPW Bergische Achsen KG start the world’s first field trial with a retrofittable electric drive for commercial vehicles. The presentation of the test vehicle with official press event took place on August 16, 2018 at the Hellmann Headquarters in Osnabrück, Germany.


As part of an innovative cooperation, Hellmann and BPW Bergische Achsen KG, a leading manufacturer of trailer chassis, are starting a unique practical test – the eTransport electric drive axle newly developed by BPW. The special feature of the electrically powered axle is that it can be retrofitted to conventional diesel-powered commercial vehicles and thus represents a real innovation in terms of sustainability not only from a technical, but also from an economic and ecological point of view. Together, Hellmann and BPW presented the test vehicle to the press on August 16. On the company premises in Osnabrück, journalists had the opportunity to take part in a test drive and address their questions to Markus Schell, personally liable managing partner of BPW, and Matthias Magnor, Chief Operating Officer Hellmann Road & Rail.

Within the scope of the field test, the use of an electrically powered transporter on various tour structures will initially be tested over a period of six months, particularly for inner-city deliveries. The MB Vario, which has been specially converted for Hellmann, will be used for two months in each of the pilot branches in Bielefeld, Lehrte, and Osnabrück. With two axle-integrated asynchronous motors, the vehicle has 150 kW (equivalent to approximately 200 hp) and can cover a range of 100 km with a payload of 3t using an 80 kWh lithium-ion battery.

“We are pleased that Hellmann, a global logistics service provider committed to sustainability, has opted for our solution. In this way, we can gain valuable insights into the most diverse practical requirements in the joint field tests and use them for further development before starting series production conversion of diesel vehicles at the end of this year.”Markus Schell, personally liable Managing Partner of BPW

Hellmann has been dealing with innovative sustainable logistics concepts for several years now. In the medium term, cooperation with institutions from science, research and industry is intended to provide Hellmann’s vehicle fleet with a genuine alternative to diesel drives that meets both economic and ecological criteria.

BPW has won numerous innovation awards with the eTransport axle presented for the first time at the IAA 2016. The solution is particularly impressive because of the compact installation of the engines and transmissions in the axle and the associated advantageous drive close to the wheel, which optimizes the maneuverability of the vehicle through active steering assistance. The eTransport drive axle can be integrated into existing vehicles such as the MB Vario, thus enabling an emission-free second life, especially for expensive special vehicles. Together with the specialist Paul Nutzfahrzeuge, BPW has announced the start of the standard conversion of these vehicle types for the end of the year.

Matthias Magnor, COO Hellmann Road & Rail

“We see electric mobility as a possible key technology for the implementation of sustainable logistics concepts, which at the same time provides our customers with greater flexibility. This field trial provides us with real data and experience regarding the use of the new drive technology, especially against the background of imminent diesel driving bans in inner-city areas and increasing customer demand for green logistics services.”Matthias Magnor, COO Road & Rail, Hellmann Worldwide Logistics

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