Volvo FE Hybrid

In some cities, garbage trucks, with their rackety diesel engines, wake up the entire neighborhood. For the heavy-duty trucks in Volvo's FE Hybrid lineup, though, noise is not an issue, at least not at when moving slow enough. You see, the FE trucks are parallel hybrids and can operate at low speeds using just the electric motor and lithium-ion battery pack. The diesel engine is only called upon when the driver smashes the accelerator pedal or when the truck's battery pack runs out of juice.

Aside from operating in near silence, the hybrid trucks are claimed to reduce fuel consumption by up to 30 percent and slash carbon dioxide emissions by approximately 20 percent. The Volvo's FE Hybrid feature a 7.0-liter diesel engine mated to a 3-phase 120 kW electric motor that's fed by 600V li-ion batteries.

Starting in June, the trucks will be produced in a limited series of 100. Those FE Hybrids will be delivered to customers in Europe. Unfortunately, light sleepers in the U.S. might be awakened by noisy garbage trucks for some time as Volvo has no plans to sell the FE Hybrid stateside. Yes, we know about the exceptions.) Hat tip to Bruno!

[Source: Volvo]
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Volvo Trucks to Start Selling Heavy Hybrid Trucks

"Our ability to initiate hybrid production is tremendously inspiring and important for our continuing product development, since some form of hybrid technology will be used for most trucks in the future. Hybrid operation is definitely a key piece in the puzzle when endeavoring to achieve energy-efficient transport"

As part of the Volvo Group's (STO:VOLVA)(STO:VOLVB) focus on hybrid vehicles, Volvo Trucks is now commencing sales of heavy hybrid trucks, under the name Volvo FE Hybrid, to customers in selected European markets. The hybrid trucks permit fuel savings of up to 30 percent and will be used primarily in distribution and refuse operations in an urban environment.

The application of hybrid technology is best suited to densely populated areas, which involve the highest incidence of vehicle starts and stops. Volvo FE Hybrid is referred to as a parallel hybrid, which is a technology entailing that energy from the diesel engine and electric motor is used either simultaneously or independently of each other. The technology switches automatically between the two power sources. Volvo's hybrid technology has also been developed to maximize recycling of energy generated from braking. No extra charging from external sources is required. Electric power also cuts noise levels.

Depending on the driving cycle, the Volvo FE Hybrid can cut fuel and carbon dioxide emissions by between 15 and 20 per cent. In addition, using the electric compactor on the hybrid refuse trucks, up to 30 per cent can be saved.

"Our ability to initiate hybrid production is tremendously inspiring and important for our continuing product development, since some form of hybrid technology will be used for most trucks in the future. Hybrid operation is definitely a key piece in the puzzle when endeavoring to achieve energy-efficient transport," says Claes Nilsson, President of Volvo Trucks Europe Division.

The trucks will initially be produced in a limited series of about 100 vehicles, starting in June. These trucks will be delivered during the period 2011 to 2013 to customers in selected European markets.

For many years, the Volvo Group has invested in the development of hybrid vehicles and Volvo Buses launched serial production of hybrid buses at its plant in Poland in 2010.

Volvo Trucks provides complete transport solutions for professional and demanding customers. The company offers a full range of medium to heavy duty trucks. Customer support is secured by a global network of 2 300 dealers and workshops in more than 140 countries. Volvo trucks are assembled in 16 countries across the globe. In 2010 more than 75 000 Volvo trucks were delivered world wide. Volvo Trucks is part of the Volvo Group, one of the world's leading manufacturers of trucks, buses and construction equipment, drive systems for marine and industrial applications, aerospace components and services. The Group also provides solutions for financing and service.