Axle Power! The pilot of the new emission-free refrigerated trailer is now on the road!

Axle Power! The pilot of the new emission-free refrigerated trailer is now on the road!

AxlePower - Herbert SAS

Amsterdam, 19th January 2023 – New promising innovation in temperature-controlled transport for emission-free refrigerated trailers

Three companies have collaborated for a 12-month pilots in the Netherlands, which will see the reefer’s ‘lost energy’ turned into a power source for its refrigeration unit. The partnership is between equipment service provider TIP Group, transport temperature control solutions provider Thermo King, and intelligent running gear systems manufacturer BPW Bergische Achsen KG. The trailers are operated by transportation companies Herbert SAS, Wezenberg and Tielbeke - all driving for Albert Heijn, the largest supermarket chain in the Netherlands.


This innovation contributes to lower the greenhouse gas emissions footprint while making our cities cleaner and quieter.

Interim findings will be announced in spring next year. Once the full pilot has completed, the technology could be rolled out further, providing a second lower impact logistics solution in the transportation industry.


TIP is pioneering different solutions for fueling reefer units in order to enable the industry to become greener and more sustainable.

Earlier this year, TIP has already successfully rolled-out a sustainable electric refrigerated trailer, this time using the net to power its battery. The electric reefers keep freight chilled at temperatures down to -25°C by using 100% green energy, saving up to 25 tons of CO2 per reefer trailer annually.


The expertise of the partners

TIP has more than 55 years of expertise in managing reefer trailers which proved to be crucial in this collaboration to create this new type of reefer, that should be easy to operate, maintenance friendly, economically viable and independent from the tractor unit. Innovations and Sustainability are key pillars for strategic growth and TIP strongly believes that together with Thermo King, BPW brings its expertise in electrified solutions for the sustainable trailers of tomorrow.

“In our mission to create zero-emission temperature controlled trailers, we are offering different solutions to our customers to meet their specific needs. The battery only solution is already available and this trial, with the energy axle configuration, will take up to about 12 months. The first results are very promising.” explains Rogier Laan, Vice President Sales and Marketing at TIP Group. “We strongly believe that diesel temperature controlled trailers will quickly fade-out in favour of fully electrical and we are here to drive and support that transition!”

“It is uplifting to work together with the industry leaders and demonstrate capabilities of the technologies that put sustainability front and centre in the transport industry,” said Laurent Debias, product management and marketing leader at Thermo King in Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA). “Combining our expertise with BPW and TIP Group we’re putting new technology in the hands of the transport companies that allow them to turn the energy typically lost by a trailer during transit into clean power for the refrigeration units. Our innovation enables change in transport refrigeration and helps fleets achieve sustainable practice goals, move goods in the most environmentally friendly way and meet lower emission requirements from regulators.”


“The sustainability balance of our solution includes both an ecological and an economic dimension: emissions and noise are reduced, and ongoing operational costs drop immediately – an important advantage, especially in current times of high energy prices”, adds Thore Bakker, General Manager Trailer Solutions and Mobility Services at BPW Bergische Achsen KG. “The customer experience tour comes at exactly the right time as pressure on the industry has never been so intense.

Technical specifications

The trailers in this pilot have a Thermo King Advancer reefer engine equipped with the AxlePower technology, in combination with two ePower Axle generator from BPW. 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, low or zero-emission and autonomous trailer refrigeration. The battery pack, being charged while the trailer is moving also powers the unit autonomously while the trailer is stopped.

''''AxlePower - Tielbeke

The system operates tractor-independent and delivers low-noise, high-powered performance in both hybrid and fully electric powered units.

The purpose of this test is to run the reefers completely on electricity during working hours. This innovative system is being tested using renewable electricity and will use diesel as a contingency measure to secure the load.


For more information, interviews, and high-resolution photographs contact Rogier Laan, VP Sales & Marketing at TIP,


About TIP Group:

Headquartered in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, TIP is one of Europe and Canada’s leading equipment service providers. We specialize in lease and rent of road freight and intermodal transport equipment, services such as maintenance and repair, sale of used equipment, and other value-added services, such as digital solutions. We provide these to transportation and logistics customers from more than 130 locations spread over 18 countries in Europe and Canada. For more information, please visit our website or follow us on LinkedIn.


About Thermo King:

Thermo King – by Trane Technologies (NYSE: TT), a global climate innovator – is a worldwide leader in sustainable transport temperature control solutions. Thermo King has been providing transport temperature control solutions for a variety of applications, including trailers, truck bodies, buses, air, shipboard containers and railway cars since 1938. For more information, visit or


About BPW Bergische Achsen Kommanditgesellschaft:
BPW Bergische Achsen KG is the parent company of the BPW Group. With around 1,500 employees, including around 100 trainees, the family-run company has been developing and producing complete running gear systems for truck trailers and semi-trailers at its headquarters in Wiehl since 1898. BPW’s technologies include axle systems, brake technology, suspension and bearings. BPW’s trailer axles and running gear systems are in use in millions of vehicles around the world. An extensive range of services also provides vehicle manufacturers and vehicle operators with the opportunity to increase economic efficiency in their production and transport processes. For more information visit

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