Skeleton and Adgero articulated lorrySkeleton Technologies and Adgero SARL have developed the world’s first Kinetic Energy Recovery System (KERS) for road freight vehicles, which could reduce fuel consumption and associated emissions by up to 25%.

Skeleton Technologies, energy storage specialists, and Adgero SARL, hybrid technology specialists, have teamed up to design the innovative new hybrid engine system, which features cutting-edge ultracapacitor technology.

The Adgero Hybrid System features a bank of high-power ultracapacitors (provided by Skeleton). These store power harnessed during braking, then release it through an electrically-driven axle mounted underneath the trailer, to provide a boost to acceleration. The technology is controlled by an intelligent management system. The product has been designed to exceed the usual 10-year lifespan of the trailer itself.

The two companies have said that the technology can reduce fuel consumption and CO2 emissions by between 15% and 25%, depending on the terrain and traffic profile. The system will also pay for itself in as little as three years through reduced consumption. In countries where subsidies are available, the payback could be even quicker, according to Skeleton.

Mack Murray, CEO of Adgero SARL said, “Road haulage accounts for over a fifth of the EU’s total CO2 emissions, so fuel efficient solutions are crucial. We are beginning to see regenerative braking systems in automotive applications, but the market clearly needs a similar solution for articulated lorries.”

As road transport comes under increasing pressure from environment groups, and automotive logistics companies are looking towards rail and marine shipping more and more, this could be welcome news for the road haulers.

Skeleton and Adgero have said that the system has already gone through a rigorous testing process, including vibration, shock and immersion tests. A pilot programme is expected next year with French logistics company, Altrans. If this is successful, Skeleton and Adgero plan to ramp up production and manufacture between 8,000-10,000 units a year by 2020.