A concept truck designed by Volvo has been further developed to offer long-range capability.
Volvo first unveiled its concept truck in May 2016, but has enhanced it with improvements in aerodynamics, rolling resistance and reduced weight. The new version also features a hybrid powertrain – one of the first of its kind for heavy-duty trucks in long-haul applications – developed from the company’s popular hybrid bus range. The manufacturer claims that CO2 emissions have been reduced by up to 30%, along with improved fuel economy.
“We strive to be at the forefront of electro-mobility and to constantly push the limits when it comes to reducing fuel consumption and emissions,” says Claes Nilsson, CEO at Volvo Trucks. “Over the coming years, as society moves more and more towards renewable energy, we strongly believe that electro-mobility and hybrid technology will become increasingly important. With the concept truck we will gain valuable knowledge and experience, which will help us develop the technology further.”
The hybrid powertrain works by recovering energy when driving downhill on slopes steeper than 1% or when braking. The recovered energy is stored in the vehicle’s batteries and used to power the truck in electric mode on flat roads or low gradients. A version of Volvo Trucks’ driver support system I-See has also been created especially for the hybrid powertrain. This analyses upcoming topography to calculate the most economical and efficient choice between the diesel engine and the electric motor, in addition to the optimal time to use the recovered energy.
In long-haul transportation, Volvo claims the hybrid powertrain will allow the combustion engine to be shut off for up to 30% of the driving time. This will save between 5-10% of fuel, depending on the vehicle type or specification and its drive cycle. It also offers the ability to drive in full electric mode for up to 10 kilometres, enabling the vehicle to operate with zero emissions and low noise.
Using hybrid technology, the potential reduction in fuel and emissions is considerable and an important step towards reaching both our and society’s environmental goals for the future,” said Lars Mårtensson, Director Environment and Innovation, Volvo Trucks.