Wal-Mart fleet part of new hybrid partnership

A partnership between Peterbilt and Eaton is set to build an aerodynamic and fuel-efficient diesel-electric Model 386, which will be validated by operations in Wal-Mart’s private fleet

A partnership between Peterbilt and Eaton is set to build an aerodynamic and fuel-efficient diesel-electric Model 386, which will be validated by operations in Wal-Mart’s private fleet to help refine the final design.

“We are continually looking for new, innovative ways to improve the fuel economy and reduce the emissions of our fleet,” said Tim Yatsko, senior vp of transportation. “We currently operate the Peterbilt Model 386, and we anticipate that the hybrid version will help us move toward our goal to increase our fleet efficiency by 25 percent over the next few years.”

“As we refine our heavy-duty hybrid platform for future production, we are fortunate to have Eaton and Wal-Mart as partners to help develop the best possible vehicle system for both customers and the environment,” said Bill Jackson, Peterbilt gm & Paccar vp.

Peterbilt and Eaton had previously partnered to develop hybrid electric Class 6-7 vehicle platforms and Class 8 hybrid hydraulic platforms. With a successful test and evaluation program, the heavy-duty hybrid electric power system will be available in 2009, the OEM said.

During third party testing, the Eaton Hybrid Power System has routinely achieved a 5 to 7% percent fuel savings versus comparable, non-hybrid models. It may result in a savings of one gallon of fuel per hour when idling, the OEM said

The heavy-duty hybrid electric power system features an automated manual transmission with a parallel hybrid system. It incorporates an electric motor/generator located between the output of an automated clutch and the input to Eaton's Fuller UltraShift transmission, Eaton explained.

The system captures energy generated by the diesel engine and stores energy from braking and stores it in batteries. That electric energy is then combined with engine torque to improve vehicle performance, operate in a more fuel-efficient range, and even operate with electric power only in certain situations.

For more information, go to Peterbilt’s website.

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