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Peterbilt Developing Medium-Duty and Heavy-Duty Hybrids

LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Peterbilt revealed at the Mid-America Trucking Show that it is developing a full range of hybrid trucks, including a heavy-duty long-haul model.


LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Peterbilt revealed at the Mid-America Trucking Show that it is developing a full range of hybrid trucks, including a heavy-duty long-haul model.

“Peterbilt’s hybrid initiatives include development of both medium- and heavy-duty vehicle platforms and for both on-highway and vocational applications,” said Bill Jackson, general manager of Peterbilt and vice-president of PACCAR.

“We will introduce hybrid vehicle solutions to serve a broad range of business requirements, helping customers reduce operating expenses and fostering greater environmental stewardship.”

Peterbilt is currently pursuing hybrids for: heavy-duty long-haul; medium-duty P&D; stationary PTO; and vocational stop-and-go applications.

“We are leading the industry by proactively researching and testing hybrid technologies, forging strategic partnerships with key suppliers and customers, and integrating hybrid solutions into our already fuel-efficient vehicle designs,” said Landon Sproull, chief engineer with Peterbilt.

Hybrids can reduce fuel use by about 30% in medium-duty, stop-and-go applications and by 4-7% in heavy-duty on-highway applications, Peterbilt officials said.

Peterbilt’s latest hybrid initiative is a Class 8 Model 386 configured for long-haul over-the-road applications.

It uses a parallel direct electric hybrid system developed in conjunction with Eaton and Wal-Mart. The prototype is currently in the testing stages and Peterbilt plans to roll it out to the industry in 2010.

The heavy-duty hybrid features an automated manual transmission and has an electric motor/generator that captures energy during braking and stores it, using it to help power the vehicle.

On the medium-duty side, Pete is working on hybrid 330 and 335 model trucks.

These are coupled with the PACCAR PX-6 engine. Current configurations are aimed at stop-and-go applications and have proven to reduce fuel use by 30-40%.

The Model 335 is equipped with a power take-off that can be electrically powered. A crane apparatus can run for up to 28 minutes on battery power.

When the battery is drained, the engine can be started to recharge the battery in just 4.5 minutes, the company said.

Sproull pointed out maintenance requirements are reduced in hybrid operations as there is less wear and tear on the engine and brakes.

The medium-duty hybrids are in limited production with full production slated for next year.


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