FUEL COSTS AND EMISSIONS REDUCED THROUGH THE USE OF SOLAR ENERGY
Austrian Post AG has been testing the use of solar panels in its vehicle fleet since the beginning of March 2020. Solar modules fitted to the vehicles’ roofs produce electricity which is fed directly into the battery and used to power parts of the vehicle, including sensors, indicator lights and even the air conditioning system. This allows the vehicle’s power network to be operated in an energy-efficient way.
When the vehicle is operating, the additional power that is generated is used to take the strain off the alternator. This process helps to save fuel, but most importantly, it reduces CO₂ emissions. In addition, retrofitting the solar panels increases the lifespan of vehicle batteries. This ensures that battery materials are being used in a more resource-friendly way.
“At Austrian Post, we don’t just want to expand our capacity, we also want to ensure our logistics network is developed with future requirements in mind. Sustainability has been firmly rooted at the heart of the company’s ethos for many years now. Testing these new solar panels demonstrates that we can continue to develop our sustainable energy management strategy further,” explains Peter Umundum, Member of the Board responsible for Parcel & Logistics at Austrian Post AG.
SOLAR PANELS TO BE ROAD-TESTED UNTIL THE END OF THE YEAR
Three vehicles have currently been fitted with solar panels within Austrian Post’s Parcel & Logistics Division. The retrofitting work was carried out in February of this year and the vehicles have been in operation since then. Testing is expected to run until the end of 2020. The solar panels are very thin (3 mm) and weigh around 10 kilogrammes. They are designed to be durable and shatterproof. Tests carried out by various partners show that annual fuel savings of up to 5 per cent per vehicle are possible.
At the end of the test period, the results will be analysed to determine whether more vehicles in Austrian Post’s fleet will also be fitted with solar panels.
AUSTRIAN POST LEADING THE CHARGE IN GREEN LOGISTICS WITH THE LARGEST E-FLEET IN AUSTRIA
All postal deliveries sent by Austrian Post within Austria have been carbon neutral since 2011. This is when the company launched its ‘CO₂ NEUTRAL DELIVERY’ initiative in order to gradually reduce its environmental footprint. Meanwhile, the company is not only continually reducing its own energy and fuel consumption, it is also investing in clean energy. Austrian Post now operates the largest e-fleet in Austria with approximately 1,750 electric vehicles, making the company a true pioneer in green logistics.