VARTA Media Centre

Durable Power Pack: VARTA ProMotive AGM for Modern Trucks

 

  • Prevents battery failures, cuts operating costs and lasts up to six times longer than conventional truck batteries
  • Developed in conjunction with leading European truck manufacturers
  • Future-proof technology for further fuel-saving, safety and comfort functions

Trucking company owner Fabio Bilibio from Treviso, Italy is proud of his modern, well equipped trucks. The comfort features help him retain drivers for his company and recruit new ones despite a general shortage of drivers. It was just frustrating that the vehicles with the batteries fitted as standard often no longer started again after the mandatory rest breaks. “Total failures after just a few months were nothing unusual,” he reports . The consequence of that was unnecessary downtime and correspondingly high costs – until he fitted his trucks with the new VARTA ProMotive AGM. “This has finally enabled me to exploit the full potential of my fleet.”

Truck manufacturers are equipping their vehicles with more and more electric functions. On the one hand, these increase driver comfort and reduce fuel consumption; on the other hand, they stretch the vehicle battery to its limits and beyond. Result? Premature battery failure – especially with particularly well-equipped trucks. “Some of the biggest manufacturers therefore turned to us with a request to collaborate on the development of a solution,” reports Thorsten Werle, Engineering Design Lead Heavy Duty at Clarios EMEA. The answer the global leader in advanced energy storage solutions came up with was the VARTA ProMotive AGM. Its lifetime of up to six times longer than conventional truck batteries and its reliability have already made it a hit with European truck manufacturers just a year after the start of series production. Almost all manufacturers have approved the battery and are already fitting it in their vehicles.

Long-term trials confirm the high expectations

“Long-term trials have now confirmed that the VARTA ProMotive AGM lives up to the promises we made about it,” says Werle. Some of the test batteries have been in operation on the road under extreme conditions for more than three years without showing any signs of fatigue. Normal batteries would have already failed after six to twelve months under the same conditions. “So, if you have a lot of well-equipped trucks, it’s worth upgrading them to our AGM battery from the very start,” explains Werle. “That gives drivers and fleet operators additional security against battery failures, reduces overall operating costs and ensures satisfied customers for the truck manufacturers.”

Thorsten Werle recalls a trial that the VARTA ProMotive AGM passed during the test phase with particular enjoyment: “One of our customers carried out a winter test with our Truck AGM and a competitor in Northern Europe. The competitor batteries failed after about one week and the truck did not start anymore. Our batteries outperformed the test by several weeks. The VARTA ProMotive AGM not only withstood the freezing temperatures, but also continued to operate after that without any problems.”

Rising demand

Werle is in no doubt that the demand for Europe’s first Truck AGM battery, developed in conjunction with leading truck manufacturers, will increase further. He is already seeing sales figures outstripping the original targets despite coronavirus. That is mainly driven, in his view, by delivery traffic for online business, which is continuing to grow. Truck manufacturers are also expected to include further fuel-saving, safety and comfort features in the future that will place additional demands on the battery. Fuel consumption is also becoming an increasingly important issue: Manufacturers in the EU, for example, have to reduce their fleets’ exhaust emissions by 15 percent by 2025 and by as much as 30 percent by 2030. To achieve these reductions, technologies including start-stop, sailing/coasting and passive boost will be used.

These require the engine and alternator to shut down for additional periods, during which the battery is not being charged but the consumers continue to draw power. This, too, presents no problems for the VARTA ProMotive AGM. “It is absolutely future-proof and still has a lot of free capacity available for additional consumers,” emphasizes Werle. Another factor is that journey times are becoming longer, which means more nights spent in the cab – and therefore increased comfort expectations among the drivers. Refrigerators, microwaves, coffee machines and entertainment electronics drain the battery when the truck is parked up. Electric parking coolers and heaters cause even more battery stress. These, too, do not bother the VARTA ProMotive AGM. In addition, AdBlue tanks and larger fuel tanks mean truck batteries are increasingly installed at the end of the frame instead of the side of the vehicle/ truck. In these locations, they have to withstand increased vibrations if they are to avoid premature failure. The VARTA ProMotive AGM with its vibration and rough road track proofed design is able to meet these challenges.

Reliable starting thanks to glass mat

AGM stands for Absorbent Glass Mat.The glass mat absorbs the electrolyte and increases its cycle stability. That prevents the drop-off in capacity caused by acid stratification. The special design means that up to 80 percent of the specified capacity can be used without significantly impairing the battery life. With conventional starter batteries by comparison, VARTA recommends a discharge of 20 percent at most in order to achieve the maximum cycle life. In addition, the VARTA ProMotive AGM is maintenance-free and delivers a substantially higher starting power than other batteries, especially when the battery is partly or deeply discharged, which is the case after a hotel night.

And there’s more: The energy management system plus battery sensor installed in the test vehicle belonging to truck operator Fabio Bilibio registered the fact that the VARTA ProMotive AGM – unlike conventional batteries – does not see a decline in performance capability but rather an initial increase and then maintains this higher level for a time at least.

VARTA Fleet Program: direct contact to the manufacturer

Truck operators who, like Bilibio, have opted for the VARTA ProMotive AGM can also enjoy the appropriate service and exclusive support directly from manufacturer VARTA – thanks to the VARTA Fleet Program. It offers Truck operators direct access to a Clarios battery expert who will be available on-site to address specific challenges related to battery technologies. This premium service includes an analysis of the fleet most suitable battery solution, strategic purchasing advice that reduces the operating costs of the fleet, and regular communication between manufacturer and end customer. Registration is free via the VARTA® Truck Portal, www.varta-automotive.com/fleet

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