Prof. Dr. Achim Kampker, CEO of StreetScooter, is convinced that waiting for statutory regulations is not the solution to combat fine dust. In contrast, own initiatives can work. Since the end of 2017, StreetScooter, a subsidiary of Deutsche Post, the German postal service, has therefore been testing a fine dust particle filter specially developed by MANN+HUMMEL on its electric delivery vans.
The European Union is increasing the pressure when it comes to fine dust. Quick solutions are required, but difficult to deliver. This is because even if the mass electrification of drives were to be successful in the medium term, the problem of fine dust pollution would not go away completely as electric vehicles also generate fine dust caused by tire, brake and road abrasion. Consequently, the managers at StreetScooter, a company owned by DHL, decided it was time to take the initiative. They started a partnership with MANN+HUMMEL to improve the fine dust balance of their vehicles.
In December 2017, MANN+HUMMEL equipped five StreetScooter vehicles powered by electric batteries with special own-developed fine dust particle filters for field trials. Mounted to the undercarriage at the height of the rear axle, the filter is able to directly retain vehicle emissions without taking up valuable loading space.
The filter is fitted with an active intake system. Two blowers direct ambient air to the fine dust particle filter even when the vehicle is at a standstill. The source of the fine dust is not relevant. Pollutants from private heating systems and other vehicles are also filtered along with fine dust generated by industry and agriculture. The fine dust particle filter is able to separate up to 80 percent of so-called PM10 dust particles from the air, i.e. particles up to a size of ten micrometers. With a power requirement of only 300 watt, the filter does not have a negative effect on the driving range of the electric transporter. If required, solar panels fitted to the roof of the delivery van can provide the necessary energy.
The five StreetScooter test vehicles are only the start for CEO Prof. Dr. Achim Kampker: ‘There are currently more than 5,000 electric delivery vans of the type Work and Work L in service which today already enable us to significantly reduce emissions of CO2 and nitrogen oxides (NOX). In 2018 we plan to produce significantly higher quantities. If the field trials are successful, we will consider strengthening this partnership.’
In order to check the efficiency of the filter at all times, all the MANN+HUMMEL fine dust particle filters are fitted with sensors which support online monitoring. The sensors record information on the filtration performance, the volume of cleaned air, the concentration level of fine dust and weather data. The development, as it happens, can also be used for other applications in addition to the StreetScooter with its electric drive. Scalability means that the fine dust particle filter is also suitable for gasoline and diesel powered cars and delivery vehicles and is therefore able to convert these vehicles from fine dust generators into ‘fine dust eaters’.