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.