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Eaton Readies Commercial Vehicle Hybridization

Eaton is leveraging its resources to target specific heavy-duty vehicle markets by developing two forms of hybridization technologies: hybrid-electric vehicles (HEV) and hydraulic launch assist (HLA), according to a new report from WardsAuto.

The company has pegged garbage trucks and city transit buses, which are frequent start-stop vehicles, as prime candidates for HLA. The technology uses a hydraulic accumulator to store deceleration energy that subsequently is used to aide acceleration.

Eaton says carriers using HLA-equipped vehicles will benefit from improved fuel economy, lower emissions, and longer brake life— a huge plus as brakes are typically replaced several times annually for garbage trucks and city transit buses.

Carriers with delivery trucks and over-the-road haulers may find the HEV option more attractive, as it is better suited for a broader range of driving scenarios. The well-known HEV architecture uses a battery pack to store electricity when the vehicle decelerates, and the stored energy is later used by an electric motor to assist the vehicle’s internal-combustion engine.

Eaton has shipped 18 HEV trucks to FedEx. According to Eaton, early performance of the HEV delivery trucks is encouraging, with a 45% improvement on fuel economy.

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