Homtruck, write down this name, not because this application represents the philosopher’s stone, but because of these two English words: battery swapping.
Homtruck is an idea by Farizon, Geely’s truck specialist
We are in China, and it is not in itself a sensational figure, especially when it comes to electrification, especially in heavy-duty automotive (by the way, you can read about Scania, FPT Industrial and Deutz). Farizon Auto, the truck arm of the Geely Group, to be clear who has controlled Volvo Cars since 2010, has officially presented its vision of the truck of the future, therefore attentive to sustainability and, at the same time, rich in technological equipment for driving assist and onboard comfort.
It will be called Homtruck and promises to be revolutionary starting from its design. The Geely Holding Group brand has announced the start of production and the very first deliveries for early 2024 and defines the next generation smart semi-trailer as “one of the most advanced and cleanest commercial vehicles on the road that focuses on efficiency, driver and pedestrian safety, and boasts important discoveries in sustainable powertrains”.
The advantages of battery swapping
What is so “advanced and clean” about Homtruck? Certainly the multifaceted vocation, in terms of power supply. Homtruck’s architecture can carry a number of powertrain options including range extender, hybrid methanol and pure electric with battery swap option, a technology based on government standards recently released by the Chinese Ministry of Industry and Technology. This is certainly the most valuable element. In this way, the Homtruck can be “recharged” at service stations, including motorway ones, in a few minutes compared to the long amounts of time required by charging via the column. Of course, these are lead-acid batteries, the fact is that it is sufficient to replace the battery pack during the lunch break, rather than having it recharged, to avoid any downtime. Basically, the vehicles with this solution, instead of stopping to carry out the (long) recharge of a few hours at the columns, will be able to change batteries at special stations, under development and construction in recent months, reducing downtime and significantly streamlining company operations.
A “techno” type
Based on a careful analysis of the working conditions and the driver’s itinerary, Farizon Auto has designed a cabin that applies the concept of home and optimizes space to create a driving area and a living area. The design includes a bathroom complete with shower and toilet, a single bed, a refrigerator, a tea maker, a kitchen and even a small washing machine.
The ergonomic seat design and high-definition camera help ensure that drivers are well rested and well focused, while an intelligent AI assistant coupled with 360-degree cameras help keep the driver aware of any problems around the vehicle while in movement or while stationary. It is ready for autonomous driving functions.
Within an increasing number of select routes, the Homtruck will be able to use L4 hands-off autonomous driving functions and will also introduce conveyance functions for longer journeys that allow trucks to communicate with each other to maintain the speed and safety distance that will lower the stress levels of the operator.
Hardware sensors such as lidar, millimeter wave radar, ultrasonic radar will be standard equipment along with 5G and V2X communication.