Bob Christensen, Kenworth general manager and Paccar vp, detailed the OEM's multifaceted environmental program, which he called a comprehensive environmental program focused on alternative fuels, hybrid technologies, idle reduction, aerodynamic performance and driver awareness technologies. Also discussed were new proprietary suspensions that are disc brake-compatible.
Christensen announced that Kenworth will begin full production of medium-duty diesel-electric hybrid trucks this summer. These Class 6 and 7 trucks feature Paccar PX-6 engines and Eaton's hybrid drive and may qualify for a maximum federal tax credit of $6,000 (Class 6) and $12,000 (Class 7). In addition, he noted the fuel economy benefit for these trucks may be as high as 30% in P&D applications and up to 50% in utility truck operations.
Chief engineer Mike Dozier pointed out that the OEM had announced earlier this year that production of Kenworth T800 trucks powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG) engines would begin in 2009.
To showcase its range of environmentally oriented new products for heavy- and medium-duty truck purchasers, Kenworth will hit the road this spring with the Kenworth Clean Technology Tour. It is slated to appear at some 70 events this spring, including several in Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) nonattainment areas. On the tour will be a T800 LNG truck, a T270 medium-duty diesel-electric hybrid truck, and an aerodynamic EPA SmartWay-eligible T660 equipped with the CARB-compliant Kenworth Clean Power no-idle system. The tour is expected to run into the fall.
Dozier also detailed a trio of new proprietary Kenworth suspensions for medium- and heavy-duty truck models. He said the AG130 is a proprietary front axle air spring suspension; the AG400L tandem rear suspension “offers a “cost-effective solution for fleets and a smooth ride by using a proven trailing arm design;” and the AG210L single-axle rear suspension is “an economical choice for Kenworth's Class 6 and Class 7 conventional models.”