Gothenburg, Sweden-based AB Volvo, parent of both Volvo Trucks North America and Mack Trucks, has unveiled a hybrid drive concept for heavy vehicles that offers fuel savings of up to 35%.
Called I-SAM, it consists of a combined starter motor, drive motor and alternator, and an electronic control unit. I-SAM interacts with Volvo’s I-Shift automatic gearshifting system. The batteries are recharged by the diesel engine and whenever the brakes are applied.
The electric motor offers smooth performance at low speeds, supplementing the diesel engine’s performance, said Volvo. The technology allows the truck to accelerate under electrical power alone to further boosts fuel economy and lower emissions and noise levels.
This technology will be able to achieve maximum fuel savings on routes with frequent braking and accelerations, such as refuse collection, city bus traffic and city distribution, said the OEM. The system is also expected to reduce the cost of maintenance on the braking system.
“Thanks to the electric motor’s capacity, the diesel engine can be automatically switched off when the truck stops to make deliveries, pick up loads or pauses at traffic lights,” explained Lars Mårtensson, Volvo environmental affairs manager.
Auxiliary functions, such as the servo pump, AC compressor and others, are also driven by the electrical motor and not the diesel engine.
The Volvo Group is also involved in the development of a new type of battery, Effpower, which is based on proven lead-acid technology used in start batteries in today's vehicles. Through this new technology, the power output has been doubled, while at the same time manufacturing costs for the batteries can be significantly reduced compared with alternatives on the market. Effpower increases the cost efficiency in electrical hybrids, said Volvo.
Volvo Truck Corp.’s is entering the testing phase of I-SAM. The company expects that its hybrid trucks will be available on the market within a few years.
For more information, go to www.volvo.com/trucks/global/en-gb/