Electrifying Heavy Transport: University of Oulu's Pioneering Research for Sustainable Mobility

Researchers Aapo Hölsä and Isa Banagar. Photo: University of Oulu

The University of Oulu's commitment to a greener future is evident in its latest project focusing on the electrification of heavy vehicles. This initiative, aimed at reducing carbon dioxide emissions and improving performance, addresses the challenges of energy efficiency, environmental sustainability, and customer demands in heavy-duty transportation.

Key Aspects of the Electrification Project:

  1. Electric Axle Solutions: The university's research in electric axle solutions for heavy vehicles focuses on enhancing performance, reducing energy consumption, and meeting specific customer needs.
  2. Overcoming Electrification Challenges: According to Professor Emil Kurvinen, the main challenges in electrifying heavy vehicles include managing increased complexity and vehicle weight. The project emphasizes developing solutions that significantly boost performance with even minimal electric assistance.
  3. System-Level Modelling: The research team is employing system-level modelling to evaluate different electrification options, assisting companies in selecting cost-effective, efficient solutions tailored to their requirements.
  4. Case Study – Electric Axle for Heavy Vehicles: The project includes developing and testing an electric axle for a heavy-duty vehicle, using simulation tools based on actual driving data for comprehensive analysis.
  5. Efficiency in Heavy-Duty Driving: Otto Lahti, Chief Advisor at Traficom, highlights that by incorporating partial electrification, heavy-duty vehicles can maintain high energy efficiency and performance even with a modestly sized internal combustion engine and battery.
  6. Developing System-Level Management Expertise: The research aims to enhance expertise in electric and hybrid powertrain development, potentially increasing the resale value of products and boosting companies' global market success.
  7. Integration of Electrical Simulation Models: Innovations include integrating electrical simulation models into business operations, aiding companies in evaluating various power plant options.

Collaboration and Funding:

The NO DAMAGE project, led by the University of Oulu, includes research partners VTT and Aalto University and corporate collaborators such as Danfoss Editron Oy and Sisu Akselit Oy. Traficom provides expert guidance, and the project is funded by Business Finland.

Final Insight:

The University of Oulu's research project represents a significant stride towards sustainable and efficient heavy transport. By tackling the complexities of electrification, the project not only promises environmental benefits but also sets a precedent for innovation in the heavy vehicle industry, contributing to a more sustainable future.

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