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Freightliner to develop hybrid

DALLAS, Texas - Freightliner president and CEO Chris Patterson recently introduced a proof-of-concept prototype utility truck and discussed the company's plans to bring medium-duty hybrid vehicles to ...


DALLAS, Texas – Freightliner president and CEO Chris Patterson recently introduced a proof-of-concept prototype utility truck and discussed the company’s plans to bring medium-duty hybrid vehicles to the market.

The Class 7 Business Class M2 106 prototype is a full-parallel hybrid, similar to hybrid electric cars, with regenerative braking designed to recharge the batteries and electric launch functionality. It has an integrated electric motor in line with the engine and transmission, enabling operation with electric or diesel power, either separately or in combination. The truck launches with electric power and the diesel engine provides additional torque as required, the company said.

The prototype is a Business Class M2 106 model with a 33,000-lb. GVWR chassis powered by a 230-hp MBE 900 engine that offers 660-lb. ft. of torque. By incorporating a 44-kilowatt, 59-hp electric motor, the engine can achieve 290 hp and 860 lb. ft. torque when the electric and diesel motors are paired, the company said. According to Freightliner officials, simulations and testing have shown significant fuel economy improvements over conventional diesel engines and promises to greatly reduce vehicle operating costs for customers.

“Freightliner LLC has been testing hybrid vans for some time through our Freightliner Custom Chassis business unit. This prototype is an important step toward future production of a medium-duty hybrid commercial vehicle,” said Michael Delaney, senior vice-president of marketing, Freightliner LLC. “We are bullish on hybrid technology and its future in the commercial marketplace.


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