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PACCAR, Eaton enter development deal for heavy-duty hybrids

BELLEVUE, Wash. -- PACCAR and Eaton have entered into an agreement to jointly develop proprietary hybrid technology...

Peterbilt's diesel-electric hybrid model 386.
Peterbilt's diesel-electric hybrid model 386.

BELLEVUE, Wash. — PACCAR and Eaton have entered into an agreement to jointly develop proprietary hybrid technology for heavy-duty commercial vehicles in North America. The new products will be introduced exclusively in Kenworth and Peterbilt trucks in the North American market, targeted for initial production by the end of 2009.

PACCAR and Eaton developed the technology utilized in previously announced Kenworth, Peterbilt and DAF medium-duty hybrid trucks that will be launched next year, said Tom Plimpton, PACCAR president. This heavy-duty hybrid technology agreement is a natural extension to the existing partnership.

Eatons heavy-duty hybrid electric power system will be built using an automated manual transmission with a parallel-type direct hybrid system, incorporating an electric motor/generator located between the output of an automated clutch and the input to a Fuller UltraShift transmission.

One feature of this system will be its ability to recover energy normally lost during braking and store the energy in batteries. When electric torque is blended with engine torque, this stored energy is used to improve vehicle performance, operate the engine in a more fuel-efficient range for a given speed or operate with electric power only, company officials said.

In addition to the hybrid diesel-electric solutions for medium- and heavy-duty vehicles, PACCAR recently introduced Kenworth CleanPower and Peterbilt Comfort Class. These factory-installed climate control systems provide heating and cooling, plus 110-volt hotel load power for up to 10 hours without the need to operate the engine, thereby reducing emissions and improving fuel economy by up to 8%, said Dan Sobic, PACCAR senior vice-president.

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