Travelling with a trailer combination will become more and more environmentally friendly, comfortable and safer. The possibilities offered by the innovative trailer chassis for private and commercial users of the future are wide-ranging. The concept study by AL-KO Vehicle Technology and its partner Huber Automotive AG shows what is possible with state-of-the-art, electrified drive technology and sensors. The next generation trailer platform is designed for trailers and caravans up to 3.5 tons. Greater range and higher energy efficiency The range of electric towing vehicles is greatly reduced when combined with a traditional caravan or trailer – in some cases by up to 70%. This would mean a reduction in range from an average of 500 km to only about 100-150 km. AL-KO’s technical solution for this problem is an electric 48-volt drive integrated in the chassis of the (caravan) trailer. The active support of the towing vehicle increases the range on the one hand – regardless of whether it is a classic combustion or electric towing vehicle. And on the other hand there are even more advantages: Recuperation Recuperation means energy recovery in brake/ overrun mode. This makes driving an electric car with a trailer more efficient and ecological. For fuel-powered vehicles, electronic support in the caravan chassis of the future will bring a welcome reduction in fuel consumption and CO2 emissions and additional brake support on mountain roads. More safety The solution to electronic trailer stabilisation is intelligent system architecture. An automated and sensor-supported electronic control system transmits safety-relevant data to the electric drive, which powers or decelerates the wheels individually. Automotive sensors guarantee the shortest, situation-specific reaction times. This means that in dangerous situations the caravan/trailer can be stabilised immediately without any action on the part of the driver. In addition other factors such as the loading condition and environmental influences are taken into account in the analysis. More comfort Thanks to the recuperation, which serves as a braking function, continuous braking downhill when driving the caravan over mountain passes is more comfortable and more wear-resistant. In addition, the powered trailer axle serves as an additional traction aid to move the vehicle-trailer combination across difficult camping terrain. The manoeuvring of the trailers will also be made easier by integrating a manoeuvring aid into the smart electric drive. Caravan fans can also look forward to greater self-sufficiency. Refrigerator, stove, air conditioning, entertainment and much more are literally “electrified” by the energy storage unit. Intelligent charging functions such as active charging while driving or plug-in charging at home round off the convenient functions and the independence caravan-owners are accustomed to. More connectivity New smart additional functions include effective anti-theft protection by activating the electric immobiliser, GPS tracking for location, visualisation of the vehicle combination’s kilometres driven and reading out the battery charge status.Camera systems facilitate coupling, manoeuvring and parking. These optional functions can be configured and controlled via smartphone using the AL-KO 2LINK app. This new connectivity further increases the joy of the future caravan.