Designed to improve TCO for operators, the Varta AGM for trucks will be introduced to the Promotive range for HCV in spring 2019, appearing alongside the Promotive EFB and Promotive conventional batteries already in production. CVW reports.
“The launch of Europe’s first truck AGM (Absorbent Glass Mat) battery under the Varta brand marks the next step in minimising the operational cost of trucks and increasing the comfort for drivers,” pronounced Johnson Controls at this year’s Automechanika.
A high demand for non-stop transport services require trucks to be on the road every day. This change in long-haul trucking makes improved cabin infrastructure vital to enhance the quality of work and life on the road.
One feature to make scheduled stops and overnights more comfortable is a parking cooler. Many original equipment manufacturers are now offering trucks equipped with an integrated cooler, while many fleet managers retrofit existing trucks with one to offer better working conditions for their drivers. In addition, new regulations on higher emission standards put further pressure on fleets to achieve an eco-friendlier footprint.
Having already introduced the VARTA Promotive EFB (Enhanced Flooded Battery) to power the ever increasing electrical components, cope with end of frame mounting and meet the stricter CO2 regulations, vehicle manufacturers are requesting an even higher performing battery, in particular to cater for parking coolers.
This is where the Varta Promotive AGM steps in. The battery is said to increase the cycling capabilities by six times compared to conventional battery solutions, and provides the ability to operate at levels of discharge close to 80%.
“The VARTA Promotive AGM battery allows fleet managers to minimise total cost of ownership by avoiding vehicle downtime and maximising profitability,” explains Guido Schneider, Vice President Sales Europe, Johnson Controls Power Solutions. It also guarantees hoteling while the engine is turned off, which creates more comfortable overnight conditions for truck drivers. “The VARTA Promotive AGM provides confidence that drivers will not have any difficulties getting back on the road,” adds Schneider.
Why has the Varta AGM been introduced?
Performance demands in commercial vehicles have greatly increased, so much so that conventional batteries are no longer adequate. This results in a higher rate of failures, ranging from the breakdown of individual functions, to the vehicle stopping altogether, reducing the efficiency of your fleet.
What has changed in CV applications in the last 10 years?
■ Increased number of loads and auxiliary devices (telematics, mobile phones, portable video player, tablets, etc.)
■ Parking coolers, increasingly common – high energy drain
■ Today, a standard overnight function needs up to 50% Depth of Discharge per night
■ Mean of nights in truck per week: two (2005) vs four (2015) vs five plus (2018)
■ Increased number of trucks with end of frame mounting systems – high vibration impact
■ Stringent environmental guidelines (CO2 emissions)
Vehicle technology is developing at a fast pace. For trucks alone, the number of electrical components and accessory equipment has increased drastically. In the past there was not much more than the ignition, the lighting, and the coffee machine. In contrast, batteries now have to supply a large number of electrical components, even when the truck is not moving.
As a result of developments in vehicle technology, demands have greatly increased in all commercial vehicles – from trucks and buses, to construction vehicles.
A truck battery uses the most energy in the hotel function – this can be up to 50% of its total capacity. Did you know that truck drivers spend up to five nights per week in their trucks? Drivers essentially live in their vehicles. With unsuitable and obsolete batteries, the high power consumption in the hotel function can cause unwelcome and expensive downtime. Workshops should therefore be specifying appropriate replacements that can cope with these demands.
End of frame installations
The current trend toward end of frame installation means greater demands on batteries, and only the most vibration-resistant batteries can withstand the shocks. Tests show that five out of six selected batteries are not sufficiently vibration-resistant.
Stricter CO2 and safety regulations
Batteries must also do more than simply withstand the challenges on the road. They must also comply with more stringent CO2 and safety regulations, both today and in the future. This is an important success factor for fleets because only the latest battery technology is able to comply with the increasingly strict standards in the medium term.
The number of trucks continues to grow, and with it the transport mileage. Batteries have to keep pace with this, and it is therefore more important than ever that the batteries installed and specified by technicians can match the required performance of them.