Kenworth Truck Company recently unveiled its new Kenworth T270 Class 6 hybrid-electric truck at the Mid-America Trucking Show in Louisville, Kentucky. The new medium-duty hybrid truck will target municipal and utility applications and is expected to improve fuel economy by 30 percent in start-and-stop applications.
“Customers and regional authorities are looking for fuel-efficient, environmentally friendly solutions. The new Kenworth T270 hybrid vehicle offers the benefits of reduced fuel use as well as the civic impact of responsible environmental practices,” said Bob Christensen, Kenworth general manager and PACCAR vice president.
Powered by the new PACCAR PX-6 engine, the Kenworth T270 Class 6 features an integral transmission-mounted motor/generator, a 340-volt battery pack mounted to the frame, and a dedicated power management system.
“During steady driving conditions above 30 mph, the T270 hybrid operates like a standard diesel vehicle with all power coming from the engine,” explains Mike Dozier, Kenworth chief engineer. “Below 30 mph, it uses a combination of diesel and electricity. The system automatically switches between the two modes of operation and is seamless to the driver.”
The Kenworth T270 medium-duty hybrid truck performs best in utility truck and pick-up and delivery applications for multiple reasons. When the truck operates mainly under 30 mph, Kenworth expects the fuel economy to improve by 30 percent. The Kenworth T270 hybrid also comes equipped with a regenerative braking system that allows the truck to generate and store electricity which can be used for acceleration. “As a bonus,” Dozier said, “there’s a reduction in brake wear since the generator produces breaking energy.”
An electric power-take-off (PTO) is also available in Kenworth’s medium-duty applications including the T270. “A PTO can be powered using electric power. As the battery charge is depleted, the engine will automatically restart and recharge the battery in less than five minutes,” said Dozier. “This is an excellent benefit, especially for utility customers who need to power buckets. Plus there’s no noise with electricity, a big consideration when working in urban and residential areas.”
The production of medium-duty hybrid trucks will be limited for the remainder of 2007; however, full-scale production is expected for 2008.