The solar modules are installed on the roofs of the trailers and charge the traction batteries of the tow tractor, which lowers the frequency at which the battery must be replaced at charging stations. A solar-powered tractor consumes approx. 10 % less mains electricity and also has extended endurance between charging cycles. The solar panels typically charge the batteries of the vehicle to full capacity over the weekend. The battery-powered electric tow trucks cover a distance of almost 70 kilometres every day in the Mladá Boleslav plant. For every day of operation, it is possible to measure the length of each charging cycle, the amount of energy supplied by mains electricity, and the share provided by the solar panels. This data is continuously stored and will be processed as part of the Green Logistics semester course at the ŠKODA AUTO University.
Along with the electric tow tractor fitted with additional solar panels, there are fifteen other battery-powered electric tractors deployed in logistics at the Mladá Boleslav plant. These rigs operate purely on battery power supplied by charging stations where the battery packs are replaced. As part of its environmental strategy, ŠKODA aims to use alternative power sources to operate a part of its in-plant logistics vehicle fleet. The carmaker´s vision for the near future is that most suppliers (in the vicinity of the ŠKODA plant) will deliver components to the main plant with utility vehicles using alternative power.
The electric drive offensive for logistics vehicles is another stepping stone in the environmental activities of ŠKODA AUTO. These are defined by the carmaker´s GreenFuture strategy and target various areas.
The GreenProduct section focuses on making ŠKODA cars environmentally acceptable at every stage of their whole life cycle – from research and development up to environmentally friendly recycling. The fundamental focus lies with low emission vehicles. The brand currently offers 107 vehicle variants with CO2 emissions of less than 120 g/km, of which 37 models achieve values below 100 g of CO2/km.
In line with the GreenFactory principle, ŠKODA is implementing numerous measures to maximise resource conservation in production.
In the period of 2010 to 2015, ŠKODA was able to lower its environmental impact by 35.8 % thanks to a decrease in energy and water consumption, waste, CO2 emissions, and Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC). Even more ambitious environmental targets have been set in order to accelerate this positive trend. According to these objectives, ŠKODA will reduce the impact of its production on the environment by 45 % by 2018 compared to 2010, i.e. it will decrease this value by almost one-half. The fulfilment of the GreenFuture strategy will also be based on environmentally optimised logistics processes, including electrically powered in-plant transport.