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National Cement parent drives carbon emissions-free mixer project

Sources: Vicat Group, Paris; CP staff

The newest addition to the fleet of Béton Vicat, a Lyon, France, sister business of National Cement Co. in North America, runs on a compressed natural gas engine, bears a lithium battery-powered electric mixer drive, and operates across the concrete loading and delivery cycle nearly 100 percent free of carbon dioxide emissions. 

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The Oxygène places CIFA’s electric motor-driven Energya hybrid mixer drum on an Iveco Trakker cabover chassis, equipped with Iveco compressed natural gas engine, plus three steering axles equal to the classically narrow streets of urban Europe. Lithium batteries powering the Energya are recharged when the engine is engaged or the truck decelerating. Béton Vicat will add up to 20 Oxygène models through late 2019.

Béton Vicat deployed the Oxygène truck earlier this year, following late-2017 exhibits and demonstrations in France. The truck is a team effort of France’s Vicat Group and Jacky Perennot, a fleet operator and construction truck builder with an extensive shop footprint across Europe; and, Italy’s Iveco, a heavy-duty truck and engine brand in Europe, plus CIFA, worldwide concrete pump manufacturer and regional mixer truck builder.

“By using electric battery energy, concrete can be mixed independently when the truck engine is off, allowing for silent loading and discharging operations,” Vicat Group noted upon the Oxygène unveiling. “Setting aside background noise, the Energya series [drum] reduces perceived noise by half. These technical characteristics are especially significant in enclosed job sites or working environments, where every noise is amplified and exhaust fumes are a danger to workers’ health.”

The Oxygène responds to European market demands for a) urban-centered, heavy-duty vehicles running on diesel fuel alternatives; and, b) a new generation of concrete mixer trucks operating at lower decibel levels than predecessor models. “Nobody believed in a vehicle of this type,” said Béton Vicat Logistics Manager Jean-Baptiste Pastor at the truck’s dedication in Paris. The producer nevertheless rose to the challenge, he noted, and brought the near-zero CO2 emissions mixer truck to life with the CIFA, Iveco and Jacky Perrenot team. 

The Oxygène deployment leads the Trucks & Components coverage in the May issue of Concrete Products