Hybrid racing truck from Volvo

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A team of Volvo engineers has put together a new hybrid truck called Mean Green for an attempt at the land speed record in the spring. 

Mean Green was designed by Jonas Sandström and will be driven by Boije Ovebrink, previously driver of The Wild Viking. The main engineer was Olof Johansson.

Johansson said: “I started building the truck from two half frames that had been earmarked for the scrap yard and the American VN cab came from a crash-tested chassis whose cab was totally intact.”

The front axle was milled by experts from Volvo’s engine factory in Skövde, Sweden and reduced from 100kgs to 57kgs in order to increase speed. Then the gear set for first gear was removed from the gearbox, saving another seven kgs.

The truck had a standard Volvo 16-litre 700 hp engine with equipment including twin turbos from Volvo Penta. It also has a modified version of Volvo’s automated I-Shift gearbox to engage with the electric motor.

“This gives an additional 200 horsepower and 1100 Newton metres of torque. The result is a lightning-speed boost from start-off without any of the customary diesel-engine ‘lag’… For the first couple of seconds, the truck just makes a slight whistle until the diesel engine, which runs on renewable liquid rosin diesel, starts delivering with explosive force – by which time the truck is already doing 60km/h and I can engage ninth gear,” said Ovebrink.

The team will test Mean Green this month at Volvo’s Hällered test area, with the record attempt scheduled for the spring.

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