MOL and Volvo Penta are partnering to test the new electric 4x4 ro-ro tractor, the RME225, at DFDS’s facilities in Belgium.

MOL and Volvo Penta partnering to test new electric ro-ro tractor

Source: Volvo Penta

The vehicle features a Volvo Penta driveline consisting of three battery packs totalling 270 kWh of installed energy, an EPT802 gearbox and two 200 kW propulsion motors. A separate 50 kW motor powers the hydraulic system and the fifth wheel.

The trials are taking place at the port of Ghent, a strategic hub for DFDS. The shipping and logistics company has provided support for the trials, including a dedicated operator and a specially designated monitoring space.

As part of this trial, MOL is conducting range tests on the RME225 to fine-tune vehicle performance and drivability. These tests are crucial for ensuring the vehicle can handle heavy loads and operate efficiently under the demanding schedules typical of port operations. It aims to address challenges faced by port-based vehicles, enhancing their performance, range and reliability.

“The value of electrification extends beyond the initial technology investment,” explains Jeroen Overvelde, area sales manager at Volvo Penta. “The full electric tractor matches its diesel counterparts in performance, with potentially higher acceleration rates and available torque on the RME225.

Electrifying the 4X4 ro-ro tractor can reduce tailpipe emissions, contribute to cleaner air quality and lower vibrations. These factors can be particularly advantageous in confined spaces on and off container ships.

“This is in line with our efforts to decarbonise our land-based activities, improve the working environment and increase the efficiency of our port operations,” said Raf De Wit, terminal director at DFDS Ghent terminal.

This collaborative effort follows a recent purchase by DFDS of 100 electric trucks from Volvo, adding to the 125 heavy electric trucks previously acquired.