Eaton will start production of hybrid drive system for medium duty trucks

Eaton Corp. has been developing a hybrid drive-train system targeted at medium duty delivery trucks for the past seven years. Eaton has now decided to begin full scale production of the system. There are currently 167 FedEx, UPS and other trucks field testing the system. The pickup and delivery market is the ideal application for hybrids because the constant stop and go driving patterns allows for plenty of regenerative braking opportunities for battery charging. In testing, Eaton has seen fuel efficiency improvements of 30-50 percent.

The Eaton system is a parallel setup, that includes an automatically control manual transmission, 44kW motor with 420 Nm, and a 2kWh lithium ion battery pack. The variation set up for utility service vehicles also includes auxiliary power generation, and power take-off. The engine is connected to the motor via a clutch and always runs during operation, to power the non-electrical accessories. The motor and battery drive the transmission. When the battery gets low, the clutch connects the engine to the motor, to charge the battery and drive the vehicle.

[Source: GreenCarCongress]

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