March 20, 2007

Peterbilt, Eaton and Wal-Mart partner on hybrid tractor-trailer

Denton, Texas – Advanced hybrid technologies developed jointly by Peterbilt Motors Company and Eaton Corporation have been integrated into an aerodynamic heavy-duty vehicle, which will be validated and refined with the help of Wal-Mart Stores Inc.

Wal-Mart, which operates the second-largest private truck fleet in the U.S., recently announced its “Sustainability 360” program that will aggressively promote environmental stewardship among customers, suppliers and associates through a number of global projects.

Peterbilt and Eaton have previously partnered to develop hybrid electric Class 6-7 vehicle platforms and Class 8 hybrid hydraulic vehicles. With a successful test and evaluation program, the heavy-duty hybrid electric power system will be available in 2009.

During third-party testing, the Eaton Hybrid Power System has routinely achieved a 5 to 7 per cent fuel savings versus comparable non-hybrid models, and may result in savings of one gallon per fuel per hour when idling. At current diesel prices, the savings equate to about US$9,000 to US$10,000 per year per truck.

The heavy-duty system features an automated manual transmission with a parallel-type “direct” hybrid system, incorporating an electric motor/generator. The system captures energy generated by the diesel engine and regenerative braking, and stores the energy in batteries. That electric torque is then sent through the motor/generator and combined with engine torque to improve vehicle performance or operate only with electric power in certain situations.

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