FutureFlow

BETTERFLOW offers solutions for today and for the future, for people and the environment: CO₂ saving aerodynamic products that pay off economically.

There is no doubt that optimising the aerodynamics of semitrailers makes an important contribution to reducing diesel consumption on long-distance journeys.

The current situation

  • Heavy commercial vehicles are currently responsible for 25% of emissions in the transport sector in the EU (source: EU Commission). According to the BAG, freight traffic will continue to grow, and so will CO₂ emissions.
  • A large part of the engine power is needed to compensate for various losses: rolling resistance, braking power, auxiliary loads, drivetrain losses and air resistance
  • In a typical long-distance driving cycle, the aerodynamics are responsible for 36% of the consumption – i.e. approx. 10 litres/100km. This is due to various intensive turbulences, especially at the rear.

Today's long-haul trucks must not have a poor aerodynamic performance

BETTERFLOW offers practicable aerodynamic products significantly reducing the negative impact of CO₂ emissions on the environment. They are moreover economically attractive.

 

The essential aerodynamic improvement of semitrailers is achieved by BETTERFLOW’s automatic rear wing system. Additional aerodynamic add-ons as part of an aero-package increase its effectiveness. An aero-package configured by BETTERFLOW delivers the highest, most practical and economically remarkable results.

Our approach: knowledge-based, transparent, absolutely practical

  • We use different scientific methods for product development: e.g. numerical flow simulation, wind tunnel tests, extensive product testing, e.g. vibration tests and climatic chamber tests, expert tests and customer trials in practice.
  • We continuously conduct scientific studies to determine the influence of real-world factors on consumption and savings. After all, the realized savings are not a general figure, but an individual result.
  • We are permanently in contact with logistic professionals to exchange knowledge
  • We know the business and the different trailer types
  • We cooperate with recognized automotive companies for development, series production and assembly
  • We provide our customers with the best possible tools to make smart investment decisions for their fleet
  • We combine our findings gained from science and practice in the development of individual aero-packages that fit most trailer types and driving tasks

Improvement Potentials

Did you know? A semitrailer in long-haul operation needs 13 Litres/100 km to overcome its aerodynamic drag. BETTERFLOW has recognized the immense optimisation potential of aerodynamics.

This is where the greatest savings can be made – for your company and for the environment.

  • aerodynamics

  • rolling resistance

  • braking

  • powertrain

  • other

Aerodynamic Potential

The less corners and edges a semitrailer truck has at which the air can circulate, the less diesel it consumes. This finding is not new: since the 1920s, engineers have been researching automotive shapes that offer less resistance to the wind. The implementation of this knowledge into practical solutions, however, is complicated – especially in commercial vehicles. The design of trailers and their equipment is primarily focused on individual customer requirements during daily business. Different versions of tractors and at least the same number of trailers result in thousands of variants. As a result, it has hardly been possible to define benchmarks to facilitate investment decisions. Legal requirements for compliance with upper limits for consumption and CO₂ emissions were also not possible.

With the VECTO (Vehicle Energy Consumption Calculation Tool) program initiated by the EU, a tool will now be introduced from 2019 that can provide decision-makers with meaningful results, but also makes legal requirements possible. The aerodynamic quality is also included in VECTO’s calculations.

 

Several methods enable us to determine aerodynamic reference values. Those areas of a semitruck, where turbulences occur, allow aerodynamic optimisation. A standard semi-trailer with a cD value of 0.6 shows the following aerodynamic potentials at the trailer area.

BETTERFLOW

A glimpse into the future

Today – tomorrow – the day after tomorrow.

BETTERFLOW draws a picture of the future of trailers and tractors. Of course, this vision does not necessarily has to come true as it depends on many factors. However, as long as loads are transported on the road at high speed, there are aerodynamic challenges that must be closely coordinated with logistics processes, new technologies and customer needs. BETTERFLOW is well prepared for this path.

The future begins now!

 

Practical, aerodynamic improvements of long-haul trucks are already indispensable today.

 

For this reason, long-haul commercial vehicles in the EU must be equipped with appropriate aerodynamic measures in the coming years. Such improvements are standard practice in the USA and Canada. For short-haul vehicles, the market needs other useful solutions, such as hybridization, electric or gas drive systems.

Aerodynamics becomes an integral part of the vehicle

 

Logistics and business processes will consider the vehicle combination of tractor and trailer in a meaningful and flexible way. Their coordination among each other will progress – also in the field of aerodynamics. In the year 2025, the industry will already prioritize aerodynamic solutions in series production. Construction methods and manufacturing processes will be coordinated accordingly. Add-on parts which reduce air resistance will then exist in all areas of the semi-truck and will increasingly become integral components.

 

From an aerodynamic point of view, the rear area will remain a crucial area. Automatic rear wings will continue to improve drag. New regulations will lengthen the front end of long-distance tractors, both to protect pedestrians and to optimise aerodynamics. A low-loss transition will replace the gap between trailer and tractor, which is now also more streamlined at the front. However, it is becoming increasingly difficult to place efficient cooling units on the trailer front in such a way that they receive enough supply air and can release sufficient exhaust air.

 

In addition to the rear, the lower side areas and the gap between trailer and tractor, more attention will also be paid to the underbody area with its flow losses.

New vehicles – new aerodynamic possibilities

 

14 years from now developments in many technical areas will have progressed rapidly: Electrification, automation and digitalization will then be an integral part of logistics. Logistics and technology will both be given the opportunity and the necessity to be completely rethought. Design, layout and architecture of the vehicles – nothing must remain as before.

 

Long-haul trucks will also be increasingly electrified – due to new energy storage systems in the battery and hydrogen sectors. Classic installation spaces for the engine, transmission and drive units will be eliminated and will shift in a decentral manner to the driving wheels. The underbody area is now free – for storage space, storage media or for improved aerodynamics.

 

Greater range

The 2032 vision from BETTERFLOW is a truck of the future. Thanks to a new vehicle architecture a significant aerodynamic improvement can be realized, which has a positive effect on energy consumption and range:

  • The airflow to the underbody no longer must be displaced and stowed. It can flow freely under the entire vehicle and thereby reducing drag.
  • The newly created underbody airflow can be ideally used for decentralised ventilation of the cooling unit; the cooling unit becomes an integral part of the aerodynamic concept.
  • Now, if not before, cameras are replacing tractor mirrors.
  • A driver-friendly cabin design is fully integrated into the overall concept
  • Energy storage mediums are located in the underbody area of the trailer; energy recuperation via intelligent trailer axles ensures additional energetic input
  • Considering the automatic Rear-Wing System, the result is an excellent, airflow-optimized shape of semi-trucks, while the everyday functions remain the same.

As a fixed component of vehicle architecture, the trailer is changing from a “rigid load carrier” to a “flexible load carrier” for transported goods and energy. The vehicle of the future elevates logistics to a lively and sustainable exchange of load and energy.