Freightliner LLC has introduced a proof-of-concept prototype hybrid utility truck using a Class 7 Business Class M2 106. The full-parallel hybrid — which can be run off of either the electric motor or diesel motor, or both — features regenerative braking that recharges the batteries.
The hybrid has a 33,000-lb. GVWR chassis powered by a 230-hp. MBE 900 engine that offers 660 lb.-ft. of torque, and a 44-kw 59-hp. electric motor. Paired with the electric motor, the engine produces 290 hp. and 860 lb.-ft. of torque. The OEM claims the prototype demonstrated “significant fuel economy improvements” in testing.
“Freightliner LLC has been testing hybrid vans for some time through our Freightliner Custom Chassis business unit,” said Michael Delaney, senior vp of marketing for Freightliner LLC. “This prototype is an important step toward future production of a medium-duty hybrid commercial vehicle. We are bullish on hybrid technology and its future in the commercial marketplace.”
Freightliner noted that its hybrid electric vehicle (HEV) system is integrated with hydraulics for the electric PTO operation. On the job site, the engine would remain off most of the time because the batteries would run the hydraulics. When the batteries get low, the diesel engine automatically turns on to recharge them; it shuts itself off in about five minutes when finished.