Paccar, Eaton announce heavy-duty hybrid truck technology agreement

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Paccar and Eaton Corp. announced Wednesday, Aug. 22, that they have entered into an agreement to jointly develop proprietary hybrid technology for heavy-duty commercial vehicles in North America. The new products will be introduced exclusively in Kenworth and Peterbilt trucks in the North American market, targeted for initial production by the end of 2009.

“Paccar is a leader in the integration of diesel-electric hybrid technology,” says Tom Plimpton, Paccar president. “The agreement with Eaton, a leader in the design of hybrid power systems for commercial trucks, further reinforces Paccar’s commitment to a leadership role in the development of fuel-efficient, environmentally friendly technology. Paccar and Eaton developed the technology utilized in previously announced Kenworth, Peterbilt and DAF medium-duty hybrid trucks that will be launched next year. This heavy-duty hybrid technology agreement is a natural extension to the existing partnership.”

“We are pleased to partner with Paccar to produce a solution for heavy-duty hybrid trucks that delivers excellent fuel economy, idle reduction and improved operating performance,” says James E. Sweetnam, Eaton senior vice president and president – Truck Group. “During the past five years, we’ve clearly demonstrated our leadership in the hybrid marketplace with the success of our patented hybrid power system in the medium-duty marketplace. We’re excited to be working with Paccar on this groundbreaking initiative.”

Eaton’s heavy-duty hybrid electric power system will be built using an automated manual transmission with a parallel-type “direct” hybrid system, incorporating an electric motor/generator located between the output of an automated clutch and the input to a Fuller UltraShift transmission. One feature of this system will be its ability to recover energy normally lost during braking and store the energy in batteries. When electric torque is blended with engine torque, this stored energy is used to improve vehicle performance, operate the engine in a more fuel-efficient range for a given speed, or operate with electric power only. Fleets using the Paccar-Eaton heavy-duty hybrid system will experience reduced fuel consumption both while driving and at the truck stop, the companies say.

In addition to the hybrid diesel-electric solutions for medium- and heavy-duty vehicles, Paccar recently introduced Kenworth CleanPower and Peterbilt Comfort Class. “These factory-installed climate control systems provide heating and cooling, plus 110-volt ‘hotel load’ power, for up to 10 hours without the need to operate the engine, thereby reducing emissions and improving fuel economy by up to eight percent,” says Dan Sobic, Paccar senior vice president.