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GATS News: Peterbilt shifts into hybrid production

DALLAS, Tex. -- Peterbilt Medium-Duty Hybrid vehicles will launch into full production as early as March of 2008 wi...

DALLAS, Tex. — Peterbilt Medium-Duty Hybrid vehicles will launch into full production as early as March of 2008 with two configurations.

The manufacturer announced the development during the Great American Trucking Show (GATS) in Dallas from Aug. 23 to 25.

Peterbilt will offer two medium-duty hybrid configurations the Model 330 hybrid electric for pick-up and delivery applications; and the Model 335 hybrid electric for stationary PTO applications.

Peterbilt continues to be an industry leader in developing advanced hybrid solutions that increase fuel efficiency, reduce emissions and improve service requirements, noted Bill Jackson, Peterbilt general manager and PACCAR vice-president. In fact, customers who have already implemented our medium duty hybrid systems into their operations have reported significant results of up to 40% greater fuel savings.

Peterbilts Class 6 hybrid electric system, developed in conjunction with Eaton Corporation, is a Model 330 for pick-up and delivery applications.

The Model 330 is powered by the PACCAR PX-6 engine rated at 240 hp and 560 ft-lbs of torque. With the hybrid system engaged, horsepower increases to 300 and torque to 860 ft-lbs. This configuration is ideal for stop-and-go use, such as urban pick-up and delivery, with the hybrid system resulting in 30% to 40% greater fuel savings by using electric power to accelerate the vehicle from a stop.

Peterbilts Class 7 hybrid electric system is a Model 335 for stationary PTO applications. The Model 335 is also powered by the PACCAR PX-6 engine, which regenerates lithium-ion batteries to electrically operate the PTO, ideal for municipal and utility applications. During typical stationary operation of the PTO, the engine needs to run only about 1/6th of the time versus non-hybrid vehicles. The engine automatically starts to regenerate the batteries, which takes approximately 4.5 minutes.

Both trucks use a parallel hybrid system with an electric motor that assists the mechanical diesel engine with supplemental torque for improved fuel economy. The system stores energy during stopping through a process called regenerative braking, and then reuses it for acceleration. In the case of the Model 335, in which the vehicle is equipped with a PTO, the system also stores energy during idling to power the PTO.

In addition to Peterbilts two medium-duty hybrid vehicles, the company is also actively developing and testing technology for two heavy-duty hybrid configurations a hybrid electric heavy-duty vehicle for long-haul applications and a hydraulic hybrid heavy-duty vehicle for vocational and stop-and-go applications.

The first heavy-duty hybrid initiative includes the evaluation of an on-highway hybrid electric vehicle an aerodynamic Model 386 configured for long-haul applications developed in conjunction with Eaton and Wal-Mart.

The Model 386 hybrid system has achieved a 5% to 7% fuel savings over non-hybrid models in third party testing.

In this heavy-duty application, fuel efficiency and emissions reductions are best achieved both while the truck is rolling or standing still, said Landon Sproull, Peterbilt chief engineer. The systems batteries power the heating, air conditioning and vehicle electrical systems while the engine is off.

When the idle reduction mode is active, engine operation is limited to battery charging, an automatically controlled process that takes approximately five minutes per hour to fully charge the system.

The Model 386 hybrid electric is expected to be available in 2010.

Peterbilt is also continuing development of the hybrid Hydraulic Launch Assist technology, currently being evaluated on Peterbilts low-cab-forward Model 320, for vocational and stop-and-go applications such as refuse collection.

The system recycles a trucks kinetic energy to conserve fuel and assist in acceleration. While in fuel economy mode, testing has proven a significant improvement in fuel efficiency and has also shown more than a 50% reduction in brake wear.

The Model 320 hydraulic hybrid is expected to be available in late 2008.

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