While we wait for the next great stunt from Volvo Trucks we can remember the Swedish commercial builder is also doing some of the best trucks in the world – and keeps advancing its technology.
Volvo Trucks has decided to tease us to the future of its big rigs with the introduction of the hybrid semi – which mixes the company’s existing model D13 12.8-liter diesel inline six with electric assistance, for an estimated powertrain reduction of fuel consumption and CO2 emissions by around 30 percent. Thanks to a newly updated version of the Volvo’s I-See system, the navigation system can actually manage the powertrain to save the fuel and even cut off the engine when cruising. The hybrid setup will also recuperate energy for the batteries when driving downhill and under braking – and the I-See mixes the powertrain management system with navigation data to plan out the combination between ICE and electric power over the next 3.1 miles (5 kilometers) of the route.
In addition, the Volvo Concept Truck can also go for up to 6.2 miles (10 km) solely on battery power, with the energy regeneration allowing the engine shut off function to work for up to third of the time when cruising – with this feature alone cutting fuel consumption by 5 to 10 percent. The Volvo Concept Truck first premiered in May last year but it’s now added the hybrid drivetrain as part of the latest evolution – which also includes revamped aerodynamics and rolling resistance.
“Some of these developments have already been introduced to our trucks, and some will be introduced in the near future. The hybrid powertrain is partly based on knowledge and experience from Volvo Buses’ hybrid and electric buses,” commented Åke Othzén, Chief Project Manager from Volvo Trucks. There are a number of projects for clean big rigs – for example the Mercedes Urban eTruck with 124 miles (200 km) of range on a charge, Tesla planning its own big rig or the startup Nikola Motor Company claiming the One hydrogen semi can deliver up to 1,200 miles (1,931 kilometers) on a charge.