Volvo hybrid truck concept enables 10% fuel saving

Volvo Concept Truck with the first hybrid-electric powertrain for long haul operations cuts fuel consumption with regenerative braking and topography intelligence

A hybrid powertrain and I-See driver support system will allow the combustion engine to be shut off for up to 30% of driving time.
A hybrid powertrain and I-See driver support system will allow the combustion engine to be shut off for up to 30% of driving time.

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Volvo Trucks has further enhanced its Volvo Concept Truck, a prototype long haul truck capable of delivering a 30% reduction in fuel consumption and CO2 emissions in tests conducted by the manufacturer.

Volvo Trucks first unveiled the Volvo Concept Truck in May 2016, but has since developed the vehicle significantly with the addition of a hybrid-electric powertrain – one of the first of its kind for heavy-duty trucks in long haul applications.

The system recovers energy when driving downhill on slopes steeper than one percent, or when braking. The recovered energy is then stored in the vehicle’s batteries and used to power the truck in electric mode on flat roads or low gradients.

At the same time, an enhanced version of Volvo Trucks’ driver support system I-See has been developed to analyse the upcoming topography using information from GPS and the electronic map, and intelligently optimise the use of the electric powertrain mode.

In long haul transportation, it is estimated that the combination of the hybrid powertrain and I-See will allow the combustion engine to be shut off for up to 30% of driving time, saving up to 10% more fuel, depending on the topography.

“We strive to be at the forefront of electromobility and to constantly push the limits when it comes to reducing fuel consumption and emissions,” said Claes Nilsson, CEO at Volvo Trucks.

“Over the coming years, as society moves more and more towards renewable energy, we strongly believe that electromobility and hybrid technology will become increasingly important.”

The hybrid powertrain comes in addition to a range of previously announced pioneering features aimed at reducing the vehicle’s weight, and improving its aerodynamics and rolling resistance.

Nilsson added: “The powertrain in our concept truck has been developed to help the industry towards sustainable transport. With the concept truck we will gain valuable knowledge and experience, which will help us develop the technology further.”

The Volvo Concept Truck is the result of the Swedish part of a bilateral research project involving both the Swedish energy authority Energimyndigheten and the US Department of Energy.

An American Concept Truck is also being developed as part of the US Department of Energy’s SuperTruck programme, which promotes research and development to improve transport efficiency for long-haul operations in North America.

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