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Self-Propelled Trailers – An Approach to Type Approval

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Today’s technological change into alternative power trains is having massive impact beyond the vehicle itself. Tests are showing that air streamed electric vehicles are reduced by half in reach towing a trailer, especially a caravan. In order to compensate for the significant loss of traveling distance with a single battery charge EHG, ZF and FKFS are designing a battery electric propelled caravan.

In addition to the technical aspects that have already been presented, the approval of powered trailers poses various regulatory challenges. A vehicle category or definition for powered trailers does not yet exist and must therefore be newly created in coordinated association work and in close cooperation with the relevant approval authorities.

The additional weight that is created by the drive components represents further requirements in terms of driving license and trailer load. The limit of 3.5 t should be emphasized here. Compensation for the additional weight is therefore necessary.


  • Trailer
  • Propelled trailers
  • Electric vehicles
  • EV reach

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  1. 1.

    Reg. 2018/858/EU, Art. 3, Point 17.

  2. 2.

    Reg. 2018/858/EU, Art. 4, Point 1, letter (c).

  3. 3.

    Norway and Switzerland.

  4. 4.

    Title 49 § 571.3.

  5. 5.

    Association des Constructeurs Européens d'Automobiles, or European Automobile Manufacturers Association.

  6. 6.

    International Association of the Body and Trailer Building Industry.

  7. 7.

    Working Party 29.

  8. 8.

    Consolidated Resolution on the Construction of Vehicles, Art. 1.5.

  9. 9.

    Special Resolution No. 1 concerning the Common Definitions of Vehicle Categories, Masses and Dimensions, Annex 1, Art. 2.

  10. 10.

    Working Party on General Safety Provisions.

  11. 11.

    Reg. 2018/858/EU, Art. 3, Point 17.

  12. 12.

    Reg. 2020/683/EU, Annex II, Part 1.

  13. 13.

    Reg. 2018/858/EU, Art. 4, Point 1, letter (c).


  1. Frydenlund, S.: Norwegian electro mobile forum: 2019 – The very first test of three electric cars with caravans. Accessed 10 Jan 2021

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  3. Bergk, F., Biemann, K., Kämper, C., Kräck, J., Knörr, W.: ifeu – Institut für Energie- und Umweltforschung Heidelberg GmbH - „Klimabilanz von Reisen mit Reisemobilen und Caravans“, Heidelberg, August 2020

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Correspondence to Rüdiger Freimann .

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© 2021 Springer Fachmedien Wiesbaden GmbH, ein Teil von Springer Nature

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Freimann, R., Maier, S., Sannia, A. (2021). Self-Propelled Trailers – An Approach to Type Approval. In: Bargende, M., Reuss, HC., Wagner, A. (eds) 21. Internationales Stuttgarter Symposium. Proceedings. Springer Vieweg, Wiesbaden.

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