Volvo first with heavyweight hybrid

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DHL’s Volvo hybrid is powered by an electric motor and a diesel engine, which can be used separately or together, to reduce fuel consumption by up to 15 per cent, as well as lower emissions and noise levels.

The vehicle has a dry freight teardrop body fitted by Don-Bur, and regenerative braking to capture energy for storage in its onboard Lithium-ion batteries. The electrical energy created is used for the electric motor to accelerate the truck up to 15kph.

The switch between the two is designed to be seamless so that electric and diesel can be used in combination at times. Regenerative braking provides additional charge for the batteries and the vehicle never needs to be connected to the mains to charge.

Ian MacAulay, innovation manager, fleet engineering services, said: “With the promise of lower fuel consumption, improved emissions and quieter operating, we’re very keen to test and develop the technology across a number of applications. If the vehicle can replicate the savings seen on smaller hybrids, we are hopeful of achieving fuel and CO2 savings of 15 per cent.”

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