What is your product/technology?
Effenco Urban Stop Start Hybrid System distributed by RVS in the UK. RVS is a provider of re-manufactured refuse vehicles and quality used vehicles.
How does it work?
The system shuts down a refuse vehicle’s engine when the vehicle is stationary. It is a simple, robust and efficient hydraulic system composed of an accumulator, a hydraulic starter connected to the engine through a power takeoff, a lower pressure reservoir and an electric auxiliary assistance unit. Using the hydraulic starter, which can operate as a motor and pump, the hydraulic energy in the accumulator is harvested from braking and topped up if needed with engine power at best efficiency point. When the vehicle comes to a complete stop, the system turns off the engine and maintains the transmission, remaining engaged for a no-lag restart. Ultimately the hydraulic motor restarts the engine automatically upon acceleration demand.
Where would it ideally be used?
Refuse vehicles typically spend more than 50% of their operating time immobile yet 25% of total fuel consumption occurs during this time. In particular, vehicles operating in urban environments are sitting idle for a large proportion of the time. With the Effenco system the engine is shut down and significant fuel savings are made during these ‘idle’ periods. The system can be fitted to any truck with an Allison gearbox so it is equally beneficial to other municipal vehicles that have to stop and start regularly, such as recycling vehicles where products are sorted and loaded manually at the kerbside.
The system is perhaps less beneficial to operators in very rural environments where there are long travelling distances between stops.
How is it different?
There isn’t anything like this system currently in the UK for refuse vehicles. There have been electrical hybrid stop start systems but the return on investment doesn’t justify the capital cost. This system if unique because it is hydraulic, plus it will cost around 50% of the other hybrids that are available.
What benefits does it offer?
It can be fitted to most types of truck. On average fuel savings are around 25% per vehicle. The carbon footprint of each truck is reduced by up to 28 tonnes per year. The system should last the lifetime of the vehicle. It has a proven track record in North America
Where has it been used?
The system is used widely across North America and performs consistently in delivering significant fuel savings. A demonstration vehicle is being prepared and the first trials in the UK will commence during March/April. In the meantime RVS are receiving an increasing number of expressions of interest from private waste contractors and local authorities alike.
The retail cost is currently roughly 50% of that of other hybrid systems but RVS and Effenco are working to make the system even more cost effective in terms of payback time. RVS is also lobbying the Government to support the widespread adoption of the technology.
Average fuel savings of 25% per vehicle.
What about maintenance?
Installation of the system takes 20-25 hours and it can be installed retrospectively or at the vehicle manufacturer’s site. Essentially bolt-on hardware, the system requires minimum maintenance and can be easily maintained by in-house engineers with support from RVS.
What is its life span?
It comes with a standard warranty of three years but should last the lifetime of the vehicle.
How is it future-proofed?
This technology fits in with current and future trends to increase fuel savings - exacerbated by continuing fuel price hikes - and reduce carbon footprints. RVS predicts that this kind of technology will become a standard fitment on refuse trucks during the next five years. RVS is working with Effenco to further reduce the capital cost, making this system accessible to every refuse vehicle operator.
How many have you sold and where?
A demonstration vehicle will be ready in March/April and a sales drive will commence then. Due to particular interest from some customers, a small number of systems have been sold for in-house trials.