Betterflow: Trailers to become more aerodynamic, more profitable and more environmentally friendly

29th October 2019 Category: PEM

Betterflow: Trailers to become more aerodynamic, more profitable and more environmentally friendly

BETTERFLOW, a company founded in 2014, was already aware at that time that the aerodynamic characteristics of today’s trailers had to change – for the sake of the environment but also to save costs for logistics companies. Right now, the topic is more topical than ever due to the agreement of the EU on CO2 targets for heavy commercial vehicles. According to the study, “The average CO2 emissions of new trucks and buses from 2030 onwards must be 30 percent lower than in 2019”.

(Link: https://www.electrive.net/2019/02/19/eu-einigt-sich-auf-co2-vorgaben-fuer-schwere-nutzfahrzeuge/)

BETTERFLOW’s goal: to halve the drag of semitrailers by 2032. Up to two litres of petrol per 100 kilometres should be saved by 2022.

BETTERFLOW rear wing system

As the name implies, BETTERFLOW is about improved air flow. The central aero component that BETTERFLOW offers logistics companies is the BETTERFLOW rear wing system: a total of four wings mounted on the rear doors of a semitrailer (two on the outer edges and two on the upper edge) are automatically opened above 60 km/h, thus significantly improving aerodynamics during motorway travel.

PEM Motion has already contributed to the rear wing system in order to optimize this system regarding production costs and to show possibilities to produce it in the corresponding number of start-up pieces. PEM’s strength: Production planning is considered in advance in order to industrialize the product. “Production planning that is tailored to the entrepreneurial conditions and needs of the customer is particularly important to us: good scalability at a tenable investment is essential for start-ups in the production start-up phase,” says Carl Richter, project engineer in prototype construction and industrialization at PEM Motion.

“The rear wings cover half of the savings that can be achieved with aero packages from today’s perspective,” reports Dirk Sieprath of BETTERFLOW. In addition, the components HighFLOW and LowFLOW should be attached to the trailer as an add-on. Enno Lohse, Senior Technology Expert in the field of prototype construction at PEM Motion, explains: “BETTERFLWO came up with the idea, we came up with the design”. As an important development partner of BETTERFLOW, PEM Motion implements the ideas of the BETTERFLOW founders Rainer Buffo and Ingo Martin and provides experience in the field of design as well as access to the necessary tools.

LowFLOW and HighFLOW systems

 

Both systems are used for flow optimization, LowFLOW as a device below the trailer. HighFLOW sits at the upper front edge. Now that PEM Motion has constructed the first prototypes, the market entry phase for BETTERFLOW has begun: Pre-series copies are to be produced by the end of May. Pilot tests will then be carried out until October before the products can go into series production. The company is addressing the European market with its systems: as of June, 50 semitrailers equipped with the aeropackages will be on the road in Europe. BETTERFLOW will be supported by about ten pilot partners, who will go through extensive test procedures with brand new trailers from Schmitz Cargobull and Krone, the European market leaders for semitrailers, and drive more than 3,000,000 kilometres.

BETTERFLOW will be supported by about ten pilot partners

PEM Motion and BETTTERFLOW are thus working together on the commercial vehicle mobility of the future, with further ideas for cooperation on the truck of the future already in the pipeline. “Data-based business models and IOT applications could be intelligent interfaces,” says Sieprath with a view to UZE Mobility, a spin-off of PEM Motion. But first of all, PEM Motion is looking forward to seeing many trucks with wings soon driving on the motorways.