Volvo revving up its trucks with heavy-duty hybrid drivetrains

Hot on the heals of the announcement that Wal-Mart is researching dual-mode, diesel-electric drivetrains in its massive truck fleet is the news that Volvo Group has proven its I-SAM hybrid truck technology. Volvo Group, in partnership with the US Air Force has shown that its I-SAM (Integrated Starter Alternator Motor) technology can deliver fuel savings of up to 35 percent, depending on application and driving conditions in heavy-duty applications.

Volvo's Mack Trucks has received four contracts from the US Air Force to develop hybrid-powered trucks, a number of which will be built in 2007. Customer field testing and eventual production is scheduled for 2008 through 2009 with a potential heavy-duty hybrids market of around 300,000 vehicles waiting for the technology's arrival. Volvo's heavy-duty hybrid trucks pair a traditional diesel engine with an electric motor via a Volvo I-Shift automated mechanical transmission. The electric motor can generate around 160hp / 119 kW and works in conjunction with a power/electronics box; an energy storage box; and a powertrain control unit to provide instant torque, which helps improve efficiency.

[Source: James Menzies / Truck News]

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