GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Proving hybrid technology doesn’t have to sacrifice power and speed, a Volvo truck – called the Mean Green – has broken its own records as the world’s fastest hybrid truck. The hybrid set new world speed records last week at Utah’s Wendover Airfield in the standing kilometre (95.245 mph) and flying kilometre (147.002 mph).
Mean Green driver and owner Boije Ovebrink said the track’s altitude (4,200 feet above sea level) meant the truck’s power had to be reduced by 20% to prevent overheating. “Even with the reduction in total output potential, Mean Green had ample power to surpass the previous records,” Ovebrink said.
Mean Green eclipsed its previous records – 135.943 mph in the flying kilometre and 94.605 mph in the standing kilometre – established June 2011 at the Hultsfred Airport in Sweden. To watch a video of the feat, click here.
Officials noted that though Mean Green’s modified aerodynamic body design bears little resemblance to a freight-hauling tractor, “the finely tuned speed machine” is comprised almost entirely of production components from Volvo family vehicles, including a North American Volvo VN cab and frame. Mean Green features a highly tuned Volvo D16 engine and a modified version of Volvo’s automated I-Shift gearbox, which interacts with the hybrid’s electric motor. The combination of an electric motor and Volvo D16 diesel engine delivers 2,100 horsepower and nearly 5,000 lb-ft. torque – of which, 200 horsepower and 885 lb-ft. of torque come from the electric motor.
“Mean Green’s incredible performance underscores the strong potential of hybrid drivelines when applied to the right operation,” said Ron Huibers, Volvo Trucks’ president of North American sales and marketing. “Neither hybrid or any other alternative fuel technology, like natural gas, is a one-size-fits-all solution, but the technology is available for appropriate applications. While diesel remains the most efficient transportation fuel currently available, we know the future of petroleum is limited. The Volvo Group continues to test and evaluate the merits of a number of alternatives.”
To view video footage from the world record runs, visit here.