Volvo Trucks is starting to sell heavy hybrid trucks following a series of field tests which show that fuel savings of up to 30 per cent are possible.
The trucks, which are designed for applications up to 26 tonnes gross weight will primarily be used in distribution and refuse operations in urban environments.
It is starting with production of 100 hybrid trucks and delivery to customers in selected markets in Europe will occur from 2011 to 2013.
Depending on the driving cycle, the Volvo FE Hybrid can cut fuel and carbon dioxide emissions by between 15 and 20 per cent. In addition, using the electric compactor on the hybrid refuse trucks, up to 30 per cent can be saved.
The FE is a parallel hybrid – energy from the diesel engine and electric motor can be use either together or independently of one another. The system switches automatically between the two power sources.
It is powered by a 7-litre diesel engine producing 340hp and 1300Nm of torque in refuse operations and 300hp/1160Nm of torque in distribution operations. The diesel operates in parallel with a 120 kilowatt electric motor. The electric motor gets its power from lithium ion batteries
Claes Nilsson, president of Volvo Trucks’ Europe Division, said: “The fact that we are starting production of hybrids now is tremendously inspiring and important for future product development since some form of hybrid technology will exist in most trucks in the future. Hybridisation is definitely an important piece of the puzzle for more fuel efficient transport.”