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Solar panels on truck roofs to reduce fuel consumption

Photo: DHL

DHL Freight has introduced 15 new 12 ton trucks into its fleet in Europe. These wouldn’t be unusual if they weren’t equipped with a solar system on their roofs.

The trucks manufactured by MAN are modern not only because of the steering assistant, which increases safety. Start-up Trailar, part of Deutsche Post DHL, has developed a special set of photovoltaic mats that are connected to the truck battery.

Thin, flexible solar panels have been installed on the roofs of trucks. They generate enough energy to power functions such as air conditioning and loading lifts. This saves up to 5% on fuel consumption. Installing solar mats on a single vehicle can reduce CO2 emissions by 4 tons per year. The vehicles will be used mainly for the transport of cargo at the last mile stage.