Hybrid by Pete

DENTON, Tex. — Peterbilt will display a production-representative, hybrid-electric medium duty truck — outfitted with a fully integrated bucket lift body — at the Hybrid Truck Users Forum National Meeting in San Diego this month.

The class 7 Model 335 is ideal for municipal and utility applications and features advanced technologies that provide improved fuel economy while reducing noise and emissions. The hybrid Model 335 will be in limited production in 2007, the company says.

“Peterbilt and parent company Paccar are on the forefront of developing hybrid vehicle technologies that benefit both customers and the environment,” says Dan Sobic, Peterbilt general manager and Paccar vice president. “There is increasingly strong demand for hybrid vehicles as customers recognize the bottom-line benefits of reduced fuel use and service requirements, as well as the civic impact of responsible environmental practices.”

The hybrid Model 335 is powered by the new Paccar PX-6 engine, which is compliant with the EPA emissions standards that go into effect January 1, 2007.

According to Peterbilt chief engineer Landon Sproull, the truck uses a parallel hybrid system — developed with Eaton Corp. — which has 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. The system also stores energy during idling and uses it to power the vehicle’s PTO.

“We expect the hybrid Model 335 will result in a 30 to 40 percent reduction in fuel use through the combined improvement of on-road fuel economy and stationary jobsite operation,” Sproull says.” The fuel savings, combined with reduced maintenance requirements, will significantly impact our customers’ bottom line.”

The reduced maintenance requirements, Sproull says, result from less wear on the engine, as its workload is supplemented by the electric engine, and the brakes, since the charging of the batteries retards the motion of the vehicle.

The hybrid Model 335 on display at the HTUF meeting November 14 through 16 will be equipped with a Terex body and 55-foot aerial. Peterbilt and Terex have jointly developed the fully integrated chassis and body combination.

The truck and body communicate through a new J1939 digital controller. This interface senses hydraulic demand from the body and automatically engages the hybrid system. Under a full charge, the PTO can operate for approximately 25 minutes at which time the vehicle will automatically start the diesel engine and recharge the hybrid’s batteries. “It takes about three minutes to fully recharge,” Sproull says. “So, during eight hours of operation, the diesel engine will run for less than an hour.”

Also on display will be a Peterbilt Model 320 featuring Hydraulic Launch Assist hybrid technology. The Class 8 vehicle is specifically spec’d for refuse applications and uses its kinetic energy to conserve fuel and assist in acceleration.

Also developed with Eaton, the technology is particularly beneficial in heavy stop-and-go applications, such as refuse collection, says the truckmaker.

Hydraulic Launch Assist works by recovering a portion of the energy normally lost as heat by the vehicle’s brakes, in the form of pressurized hydraulic fluid, which is then stored in an on-board accumulator until the driver next accelerates the vehicle.

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