Proving that hybrid technology has usefulness outside the lightweight Prius-type car that stops being useful the moment you want to use it for hauling anything bigger than a bag of groceries, Volvo has announced that they've started production on a new, hybrid line of heavy duty trucks and buses. It's truly a forward thinking concept that they're developing. The new trucks have the posibility to reduce gasoline consumption by 35% when used as designed, and can also run on biofuels for even more environmental benefit. Some of the ways the new Volvo concept, named I-SAM, will reduce fuel use include:
- The vehicles accelerate under electric power, which supplements the diesel engine at higher speeds.
- The diesel engine turns off automatically when the truck is stopped for deliveries, traffic lights, and the like.
- Auxillary functions run on the electric motor instead of the diesel engine.
- Because of the combined engine, a smaller diesel engine can be used.