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Hybrid technology showcased at West Coast conference

SEATTLE, Wash. -- Kenworth and Mack will both have the latest in hybrid technology on display during the 7th annual...

SEATTLE, Wash. — Kenworth and Mack will both have the latest in hybrid technology on display during the 7th annual Hybrid Truck Users Forum (HTUF) Sept. 20 to 21 in Seattle at the Qwest Field Event Center.

Kenworth will showcase four medium-duty diesel-electric hybrid trucks. The featured medium-duty conventional hybrids will include a pickup and delivery truck, utility service truck, municipal aerial truck, and straight chassis.

All four vehicles are equipped with a PACCAR PX-6 engine rated at 240 hp and 560 ft-lb of torque. The primary components of Kenworths medium-duty hybrids include an automated transmission with an integral motor/generator unit; frame-mounted, 340-volt battery pack; and a dedicated power management system.

Hybrid technology looks very promising in the commercial vehicle market, said Bob Christensen, Kenworth general manager and PACCAR vice-president. Kenworth recently started deliveries of its medium-duty diesel-electric truck, which is targeted for pickup and delivery operations, municipal fleets and utilities. The hybrid will go into full production in 2008.

Kenworths goal for its new medium duty hybrid is to enhance fuel economy by up to 30% in start-and-stop applications.

Above 30 mph, the Kenworth hybrid operates like a standard diesel vehicle with all power coming from the engine during steady driving conditions. Below 30 mph, it uses a combination of diesel and electricity with the system automatically switching between the two modes of operation. Electricity generated through regenerative braking is stored and used for acceleration, assisting the diesel engine.

PACCAR also recently announced it has entered into an agreement with Eaton to jointly develop proprietary hybrid technology for heavy-duty commercial vehicles in North America. The innovative new products will be introduced in Kenworth Class 8 trucks in the North American market, targeted for initial production by the end of 2009.

Also on display at the HTUF, will be a Mack truck featuring hybrid technology, being put on display by the United States Air Force.

A Mack Granite model dump truck, built for the Air Forces Advanced Power Technology Office (APTO) and currently stationed at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada, will be at the HTUF exhibition and ride and drive.

Hybrid systems can have a major impact on reducing the more than 38 billion gallons of diesel fuel the US trucking industry consumes every year, said Paul Vikner, president and CEO of Mack. Macks research indicates that hybrid electric systems in heavy-duty trucks could save as much as 35% of the fuel consumed by conventionally powered vehicles.

Thanks to the support of the Air Force and congress, weve already met many of the challenges involved in turning the hybrid concept into a reality in heavy-duty trucks, Vikner continued. Mack is proud to play a leading role in making these cleaner, quieter, fuel-efficient vehicles significant contributors to the prosperity of our customers and our country in the future.

The Mack hybrid electric powertrain features an integrated starter, alternator and motor referred to collectively as an electric machine. The electric machine assists the Granite vehicles Mack MP7 diesel engine in providing torque to the wheels and regenerates energy during braking.

This technology provides the maximum fuel savings on routes with frequent braking and accelerations, particularly refuse collection and urban delivery, as well as certain construction applications.

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Truck News is Canada's leading trucking newspaper - news and information for trucking companies, owner/operators, truck drivers and logistics professionals working in the Canadian trucking industry.
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