Power Electronics

Manufacturers Collaborate on Hybrid Trucks

PACCAR and Eaton will jointly develop hybrid technology for heavy-duty commercial vehicles in North America. The resulting systems will be introduced exclusively in Kenworth and Peterbilt trucks, targeting initial production by the end of 2009. Eaton’s heavy-duty hybrid electric power system will be built using an automated manual transmission with a parallel-type “direct” hybrid system, incorporating an electric motor/generator located between the output of an automated clutch and the input to a Fuller UltraShift transmission. One feature of this system will be its ability to recover the energy normally lost during braking and then to store that energy in batteries.

When electric torque is blended with engine torque, this stored energy is used to improve vehicle performance, operate the engine in a more fuel-efficient range for a given speed or operate with electric power only. Fleets using the PACCAR-Eaton heavy-duty hybrid system will experience reduced fuel consumption both while driving and at the truck stop. In addition to the hybrid diesel-electric solutions for medium- and heavy-duty vehicles, PACCAR recently introduced Kenworth CleanPower and Peterbilt Comfort Class. “These factory-installed climate control systems provide heating and cooling, plus 110-volt ‘hotel load’ power for up to ten hours without the need to operate the engine, thereby reducing emissions and improving fuel economy by up to eight percent,” said Dan Sobic, PACCAR senior vice president.

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