Volvo distribution range gets auto gearbox

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Volvo Trucks is now releasing automated gearboxes for all regional and city distribution truck models.

The latest to be fitted is the Volvo FE 4×2 distribution truck (GVW 18 tonnes), which is now available with Volvo I-Sync (a manual gearbox supplemented with software for automatic gear changing).

I-Sync combines the manual gearbox’s operating reliability and low weight with the automatic transmission’s driving comfort.

It differs from the existing I-Shift; designed for heavy transport operations, having been tailored for local distribution, which involves repeated stop and starts.

I-Sync can also help cut fuel use and carbon dioxide emissions.

* Volvo has also developed a new parallel hybrid design for the FE distribution truck, which it reckons can cut fuel use and carbon dioxide emissions by 15 to 20 per cent.

In addition, Volvo has seen reductions of up to 30 per cent with a plug-in superstructure for waste compression.

Unlike the traditional series hybrid approach, where an electric motor alone drives the wheels and a combustion engine charges the batteries, a parallel hybrid uses either the electric motor or the combustion engine – or both together.

The truck manufacturer is also planning to extend the lifetime of the preferred lithium-ion battery, and aims to increase it to eight years.

Small-scale series production of the Volvo FE hybrid will begin in 2012.


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