Peterbilt Motors plans to build a limited number of hybrid-electric medium-duty trucks for municipal and utility applications in 2007. A “production-representative” model was on display at the Hybrid Truck Users Forum in San Diego last month.
The OEM's Class 7 Model 335 hybrid features a parallel hybrid system developed with Eaton Corp. that uses an electric motor to assist the mechanical diesel engine with supplemental torque for improved fuel economy. The system stores energy during stopping through a process called regenerative braking, and then reuses it for acceleration. Energy stored during idling is used to power the vehicle's PTO.
“We expect the hybrid Model 335 will result in a 30% to 40% reduction in fuel use through the combined improvement of on-road fuel economy and stationary jobsite operation,” notes Loudon Sproull, Peterbilt's chief engineer. He adds that maintenance savings from less wear on the truck's diesel engine and brakes should also foster more cost savings for fleets.
The truck will be powered by the new Paccar PX-6 engine.