The BELLE project focuses on the challenges of transitioning heavy commercial vehicles to electric power. These challenges impact operational processes and profitability, because the distance that can be covered before the next charging station is shorter than that for combustion engines. The charging time is also longer than the time required to fill the tank with gas or diesel. Additionally, the charging of vehicles in works yards places a significant burden on the power grid supplying the yard. The project's overarching goal is to demonstrate approaches to addressing these challenges and thus facilitate the cross-sector – i.e. for all types of heavy commercial vehicles – integration of electricity-powered heavy commercial vehicles into vehicle fleets.
As part of the BELLE project, charging infrastructure for electric motors will be integrated into the operational processes at one of the works yards of the City of Hamburg's municipal cleaning and maintenance service. The findings obtained during the demonstration phase about operational processes and usage changes, as well as impacts on the electrical grid, will serve as the basis for transfer to other branches.
With the help of simulations, HAW Hamburg will investigate what type of electricity-based flexibility arises from the vehicles' usage profile and how this can be used advantageously within the power grid: Possibilities include scheduling the charging times for cheaper windows of time or the expansion or decreasing of the overall charging load in specific time periods. Another focus of the study will be the impacts on potential flexibility and on the power grid in the Hamburg region that can be expected when additional works' yards begin using electricity-powered heavy commercial vehicles. This will enable the formulation of recommendations for electricity providers regarding the development of guidelines on connecting to the grid.
The project will identify approaches to using electricity power in works' yards in various sectors that use heavy commercial vehicles. It will generate findings which can also be used by energy providers regarding the reverse impact on the power grid.