ROTRAC E4 - Debut at Innotrans 2012

Debut at InnoTrans 2012: Even more power as part of the package


Electric road/rail vehicle with 500 tonnes of tractive power — the Zwiehoff Rotrac E4


Berlin/Rosenheim/Aschaffenburg, 18/09/2012 — Barely a year after the successful market

launch of the Rotrac E2, road/rail technology specialist G. Zwiehoff presents the Rotrac E4, the

second model in the series driven purely by electricity. With 500 tonnes in rail operation, the

Rotrac E4 has double the tractive power of its sister model. As a result, the truck, which is

extremely compact despite its net weight of 7.5 tonnes, can even move the new generation of

ICE 3 high-speed trains that will be brought into service at the end of 2012. As with the E2, the

drive technology originates from the series production of industrial truck manufacturer Linde

Material Handling. Linde subsidiary Proplan once again developed the prototypes and produced

the small series.


"It wasn't long after the first Rotrac E2 was delivered that customers started asking for a

shunting truck that was just as efficient and had the same good handling characteristics, but

with an increased towed load", reports Stephan Zwiehoff, Rotrac Product Manager. "We quickly

got together with our reliable partners at Linde and Proplan and we are very pleased that we

can already show you the results today". For the Rotrac E4, the four-wheel drive concept from

the Rotrac E2, previously unique in the rail technology sector—two live axles, each with two

electric motors—is supplemented with retractable turntable steering for travel alongside the

rails. This design ensures high torque and contact pressure on the rails, perfectly regulated via

moving guide rollers. On the road, the additional turntable steering is extended downwards and

the rear axle is raised from the ground. As the truck is then only driven by the front axle, it can

be manoeuvred freely and turns on a radius of less than 2 metres.


Electric mobility on a large scale

Zwiehoff continues: "During the collaboration with Linde Material Handling, we were

particularly impressed with how easy it was to transfer expertise in electric mobility from

forklift production into other fields of application — including into the rail technology sector and

scalable by size". All of the drive components—two live axles, several converters, electric

motors, controllers and the battery charging station—are parts from series production that

have been tried and tested many times in everyday use. "Our technology is under constant

development, continuously increasing efficiency and improving cost effectiveness", explains Maik Manthey, Vice President Electronic Systems & Drives at Linde Material Handling.

"Efficiency in terms of energy and cost is highly relevant in all areas of electric mobility — and

our components are also cost effective".


For use anywhere where there are rails

The Rotrac series has previously been found predominantly in loading stations and repair

workshops, but the range of uses can be expanded. Whether you choose the design with

explosion protection or with resistant heat protection, Proplan's customisation skills mean that

Zwiehoff is able to equip the Rotrac series for a wide range of operational environments.

Proplan Chief Executive Herbert Kunkel says: "Based on the level of experience with special

truck designs, e.g. with explosion protection or for the foodstuffs industry, a lot of applications

are feasible for Rotrac. These range from shunting operations in chemical companies to rescue

operations in danger zones". As the truck is remote controlled, the operator is always outside

the hazard area.



Press release


Fact sheet



G. Zwiehoff GmbH • Gießereistraße 8 • 83022 Rosenheim • Germany
Tel.: +49 (0) 8031 - 23285-0 • Fax: +49 (0) 8031 - 23285-19 • Email: info@zwiehoff.com