There’s more to charging a series of trucks than simply buying a charger. Whether you are a truck operator or dealer, it will be important to invest in the right kit. Most operators will have sufficient onsite diesel storage at present – nobody wants to run out – the same will apply to electricity supply for charging electric trucks.

As the number of electric trucks on the road starts to rise, it will be difficult for, not only truck operators, but also truck dealerships to operate with a basic charging system.  Operators and dealers alike should be interested in PACCAR Parts Europe’s first on-site power supply system at BEST Trucks, DAF Electric Truck Center in Barendrecht, the Netherlands. This so called ‘microgrid’ consists of a combination of 750 roof mounted solar panels, an energy storage system and advanced energy control systems. The microgrid can supercharge trucks leaving the workshop and also powers a public super-fast charger.

Tailor-made to suit BEST Trucks, the project with PACCAR Parts Europe began with the installation of an Energy Storage System (ESS) with a battery storage capacity of 480 kWh, an Energy Management System (EMS) and three super-fast charger outlets with a maximum output of 360 kW. These are all connected to the existing 750 solar panels on the roof, as well as the electricity grid.

Two chargers were installed in the workshop, available to power up electric trucks within one hour. A third fast charging point is publicly accessible. The ‘microgrid’ solution perfectly matches the ambitions of BEST Trucks’ owner Ronald Janssen; “Electric vehicles should always leave our workshop charged to at least 80% of their capacity, so that these can immediately hit the road after they have been serviced.”

PACCAR Truck Charging system Installed
Two chargers were installed in the workshop, available to power up electric trucks within one hour. A third fast charging point is publicly accessible

Electricity management

Reliable power availability is one of the many advantages of the ESS. “Due to the increasing demand for energy, securing the energy supply is under pressure. You don’t want to choose between keeping the lights on in the workshop or supercharging your customers’ electric vehicles,” adds Ronald Janssen. “This microgrid ensures a consistent and sustainable energy supply while also facilitating rapid charging. It remains operational even in unfavourable weather conditions or during periods of insufficient grid electricity. It is good to know we always can rely on the energy storage.”

Smart monitoring and trading

The Energy Management System gathers all of the relevant data, from expected hours of sunshine to energy usage and peaks in electricity grid demand and adjusts the system for highest efficiency and lowest energy costs. Furthermore, BEST Trucks will be able to trade in energy, storing it locally when tariffs are low or when there’s a surplus of solar energy and using it or selling it back during peak demand against peak tariffs.

A greener future

PACCAR Parts Europe Manager Innovation and Strategic Programs, Rob van Erp: “More dealers are showing an interest in this on-site power supply system. It is all about offering customers a premium service and facilitating the energy transition for a greener future.”