Renault fits electric truck with solar panels for its refrigeration unit

Darren Cassey, PA Motoring Reporter
·1-min read

Renault Trucks has fitted one of its electric vehicles with roof-mounted solar panels.

The idea is to capture green energy from the sun and use it to power the refrigeration unit. This is said to be an efficient route to go down because the panels capture the most energy on sunny days when the unit needs the most power to keep cool.

Logistics firm Rhyner Logistik purchased one of the Renault Trucks D Wide Z.E. vehicles to supply Denner supermarkets in the suburbs of Zurich, Switzerland. The zero-emissions vehicle’s near-silent operation was seen as the ideal solution to minimise disturbing local residents while also respecting the environment.

Rhyner Renault Trucks D Wide Z.E
(Renault Trucks)

Rhyner has also fitted a rapid charging station alongside its loading bays so the batteries can be charged while staff refill the unit, minimising the time the vehicle is out of action.

Meanwhile, Renault Trucks claims that driving the truck in a purely urban environment leads to savings of up to 30 per cent of the vehicle’s range. With the solar panels powering the refrigeration unit, therefore taking the load off the motor, this will likely also improve range.

Renault Trucks offers three electric commercial vehicles in the form of one van and two larger trucks that can be adapted for different use cases.

In its marketing materials, Renault gives the example of a waste collection vehicle, which would give the truck a range of about 75 miles and reduce emissions by about 75 per cent.