Mack delivers hybrid TerraPro refuse truck to USAF

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Mack Trucks today, Jan. 8, said that it recently reached another important milestone in its develop- ment of clean and efficient trucks with the delivery of the first diesel-electric hybrid refuse truck to the U.S. Air Force (USAF) Advanced Power Technology Office (APTO).

The Mack TerraPro Low Entry refuse truck was turned over to APTO at Warner Robbins Air Logistics Center at Robbins Air Force Base, Ga., on Dec. 12. This is the fifth hybrid truck Mack has built for the USAF, with the rest already in operation around the country.

The TerraPro hybrid has a rear loading refuse packer body and is equipped with a 325 hp U.S.’07-compliant Mack MP7 engine. The Mack hybrid-electric powertrain used in the truck features an integrated starter, alternator and motor that assists the MP7 in providing torque to the wheels and regenerates energy during braking. The energy captured during braking — stored as electricity in lithium ion batteries — then is used in place of diesel fuel and helps launch the truck from stops.

Mack says this technology provides the maximum fuel savings on routes with frequent braking and accelerations; examples, in addition to refuse, are urban delivery and certain construction applications. Mack says the use of this hybrid system is expected to improve fuel economy by 20-30 percent and provide a similar benefit on greenhouse emissions, while reducing cost of maintenance.

“Mack shares the Air Force’s commitment to reducing both the country’s dependence on fossil fuels and imported oil, as well as the impact of truck operations on the environment,” says Dennis Slagle, president and chief executive officer of Lehigh Valley, Pa.-based Mack. “The vehicles we’re producing under this partnership are a key stepping stone to offering commercially viable hybrid-electric vehicles to our customers.”

Mack say the TerraPro truck underwent extensive testing of the hybrid system prior to delivery, with several thousand accumulated miles of operation. After APTO reviews and tests the truck, they will provide it to the City of Macon, Ga., for continued testing in their municipal waste collection operation. This testing will be part of an agreement between APTO, the City of Macon and the Clean Cities Coalition of Georgia. While there, it will generate “real-life” test data, including fuel consumption and overall vehicle operation.