New bus chassis from Freightliner Custom Chassis

Freightliner Custom Chassis Corp. (FCCC) has introduced a hybrid-electric commercial bus chassis designed to offer fuel savings and reduced emissions

Freightliner Custom Chassis Corp. (FCCC) has introduced a hybrid-electric commercial bus chassis designed to offer fuel savings and reduced emissions. The MB-HEV, introduced at BusCon 2008, features a diesel engine coupled with an electric motor/generator and lithium batteries, the company said.

“Freightliner Custom Chassis developed the prototype MB-HEV aiming to be the most fuel-efficient bus chassis on the market,” said Tony Sippel, FCCC product manager for commercial bus chassis. “We focused our engineering efforts on developing a commercial bus chassis that would contribute to a cleaner environment and decrease consumption of natural resources while significantly reducing the cost of operation for bus fleets.”

According to the company, the lithium-ion batteries capture and store energy during regenerative braking, charging throughout the operation of the diesel engine. Both the engine—a Cummins ISB 6.7-liter with up to 300 hp featuring an Eaton automatic transmission--and the electric motor provide power to the drivetrain. It also features a 55-degree wheel cut, a 10% improvement over its previous models.

“Entering and exiting parking lots and driveways and turning corners in urban settings can be difficult when operating a commercial vehicle,” Sippel added. “With this in mind, we developed a chassis with a 55-degree wheel cut to more effectively maneuver through our nation’s metropolitan areas, saving time on the road and adding to driver comfort.”

The MB-HEV is expected to be available for order in the fourth quarter of 2009, with production set for the first quarter of 2010.

View more Fleet Owner news relating to alternative fuels, hybrid technologies, fuel conservation and diesel fuel prices.

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