With the AxlePower Thermo King has achieved another piece of the sustainability puzzle. Thermo Kingand a brand of Trane Technologies and BPW Bergische Achsen KG, a leader in running gears and mobility services for transport, won in the “Components and Aggregates” category of the European Transport Award for Sustainability 2024. The jury recognized Thermo King and BPW for AxlePower, the smart energy generating system that stores energy generated from rolling or braking of the trailer in a high voltage battery and reuses it to power the refrigeration unit.

The award to AxlePower in the words of Thermo King and BPW

Winning the European Transport Award for Sustainability 2024 for AxlePower confirms our belief that we have created a solution set to become a pivotal component of environmentally conscious trailer refrigerated transportation,” said Laurent Debias, product management and marketing leader at Thermo King. “Within the ongoing transition from diesel-based to electric technologies, our customers receive a proven and tested way to drastically reduce carbon emissions, noise and operational costs of their trailer fleets.

Sustainability plays an important role in both our companies. We are therefore delighted to receive this award, which recognizes not only the products but also the sustainable practices and strategies of companies. At the same time, it is proof of our successful collaboration on the breakthrough of zero-emission refrigerated transport,” said Thore Bakker, General Manager Business Unit Trailer Solutions and Mobility Services at BPW.

About AxlePower

Thermo King AxlePower is a fully integrated, tractor independent system that combines BPW’s ePower axle with Thermo King refrigeration unit and power management technology. The AxlePower’s smart energy generating system delivers the power needed to run the trailer refrigeration unit by converting energy recovered by the trailer’s axle during the vehicle’s routine operation.

The system stores the energy generated while the vehicle is rolling or braking in a high voltage battery and reuses it to power the refrigeration unit – enabling fully electric and autonomous trailer refrigeration. The Thermo King Energ-e battery pack, being charged while the trailer is moving also powers the unit autonomously while the trailer is stopped. Smart power management controls the engagement and disengagement of the generators minimising the resistance on the tractor and providing the driver and fleet manager with real-time battery charge visibility.

The results of these trials reported up to 20 consecutive weeks of electric refrigeration in local distribution without the restart of the reefer’s diesel engine or connection to shore power. On long haul routes with night stops, the AxlePower system allowed the refrigeration units to operate fully in electric mode throughout the day, and for 40% to 80% of the nighttime, depending on the Energ-e battery pack configuration. When battery capacity was used, the backup diesel engine of the refrigeration unit kicked in seamlessly to maintain set temperatures.


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