Peterbilt Motors plans to start building a limited number of hybrid-electric medium-duty trucks designed for municipal and utility applications sometime next year. A “production-representative” model will be on display at the Hybrid Truck Users Forum in San Diego next week.
Dan Sobic, Peterbilt’s gm, said there is increasingly strong demand for hybrid vehicles as customers recognize the bottom-line benefits of reduced fuel use, a need that can be fulfilled by the OEM’s Class 7 Model 335 hybrid. The hybrid-electric vehicle will be powered by the new Paccar PX-6 engine, which is compliant with EPA’s 07 emissions regulations.
Landon Sproull, Peterbilt’s chief engineer, said the truck uses a parallel hybrid system developed with Eaton Corp., using an electric motor that assists 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, he added.
“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,” Sproull noted. He added that maintenance savings from less wear on the truck’s diesel engine – as the electric engine supplements its workload – and brakes should also foster more cost savings for fleets.