All sorts of interesting things are going on in the hybrid truck arena these days – and a goodly number of them were on display at the 11th annual Hybrid Truck Users Forum (HTUF) National Conference & Expo being held this week in Baltimore, MD.
Take for example this hybrid armored truck prototype developed by Freightliner Trucks.
It uses hybrid technology to help armored vehicles significantly reduce fuel consumed by idling – something they do far more than any other type of commercial vehicle, I suspect – without compromising the ability of such trucks to rapidly accelerate out of a dangerous situation.
[Dave Bryant, Freightliner’s vocational sales manager for hybrids, touches on this and other key benefits “armored hybrids” can provide fleets providing this specialized service in the video below.]
Then there’s an interesting new way to convert existing cars and light trucks into hybrids or all-electric vehicles for that matter without the need for an extensive overhaul: in-wheel motors.
Ken Stewart, vp-sales and marketing for Protean Electric, showed how his firm’s technology makes the “retrofit” process easier without sacrificing any power and performance for such vehicles.
Another welcoming trend happening in the hybrid truck space is the ongoing “shrinkage” occurring to hybrid components, especially where batteries are concerned.
Take Hino Truck’s new Model 195h cabover hybrid medium-duty truck for example: its battery pack fits snugly under the frame rail on the driver’s side, and altogether the hybrid components only add some 400 pounds to the truck’s overall weight.
Those three examples are but the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the rapid improvement occurring to hybrid truck systems overall in the market – and the best part about them is that they all add up to potentially huge fuel savings without compromising vehicle performance.