MATS Report: Peterbilt developing environmentally-friendly hybrid and natural gas trucks

Truck News

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Peterbilt’s medium-duty hybrid trucks will be in full production this summer, the company announced at the Mid-America Trucking Show.

The Model 330 and Model 335 hybrids will begin rolling off the line at Ste. Therese, Que. this summer. Both will feature the Eaton hybrid-electric system. The Model 330 is expected to deliver fuel savings of 30% in urban driving cycles while the Model 335 will achieve fuel economy improvements of up to 60% when used in utility applications.

“With higher fuel costs and growing concerns with the global carbon footprint, Peterbilt is at the forefront in the development of green technologies that help the environment by providing greater fuel savings and reducing emissions,” said Bill Jackson, Peterbilt general manager and PACCAR vice-president. “Our medium-duty hybrid vehicles have been proven in testing across North America to demonstrate impressive fuel efficiency improvements.”

Both models will come with the PACCAR PX-6 as the base engine.

Also on the hybrid front, Peterbilt announced it will enter full production of its hybrid Model 320 Hydraulic Launch Assist (HLA) truck in the fourth quarter of this year. The hydraulic hybrid is well-suited for vocational stop-and-go applications such as refuse collection, company officials explained at Mid-America. Similar to the hybrid-electric drive trucks, the hydraulic system captures kinetic energy produced during braking and then uses that energy to help launch and accelerate the truck. However, that energy is transferred hydraulically rather than through the use of batteries.

Peterbilt officials said the HLA truck will not only save fuel, but will extend brake re-alignment service intervals by 50% per year.

“The Model 320 HLA is an ideal environmental option for refuse applications,” Jackson said. “Dramatic improvements in fuel economy, reductions in emissions and lower maintenance costs spotlight the Peterbilt Model 320 Hydraulic Hybrid as the environmentally-responsible, fuel-efficient solution for municipal and residential solid waste transportation fleets.”

The HLA vehicle can be operated in either “fuel economy” or “performance” modes. When operated in fuel economy mode, savings are achieved when the stored energy is used to launch the vehicle on its own. In performance mode, the stored energy is blended with power generated by the diesel engine, which still allows for fuel savings, but also results in improved acceleration and performance.

Peterbilt also said it will be expanding its natural gas offerings, thanks to a partnership with Canada’s Westport Innovations. The two companies will develop a natural gas version of Peterbilt’s Model 386 highway truck for Wal-Mart.

“Our vehicles paired with natural gas utilization offer another viable option to our customers seeking lower emission, fuel-efficient vehicles,” Jackson said.

The new offering will compliment Peterbilt’s current Model 320 LNG trucks, about 50 of which are already deployed throughout the US.

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