Daimler and Walmart Team to Make Hybrid Big Rig

Cascadia Hybrid
In brief: Daimler Trucks North America and Walmart have teamed to put a hybrid heavy truck, based on the Cascadia model, on the road in the U.S.

Vehicle in the news

Make/Model: Cascadia Manufacturer: Freightliner (Daimler)

The word

Cascadia hybrid

The Cascadia model is a popular Freighliner (owned by Daimler) model big rig and Walmart will be testing a hybrid version Daimler recently produced. The truck uses a hybrid drive train, but unlike its counterparts from Kenworth and other companies, the drive train fully retains its conventional drive line.

In most hybrid big trucks, the electric motors and power controls are added to the drive line behind the transmission - as with the Eaton Hybrid System. In Daimler's setup, however, the motor is mounted on the rear axle instead.

This leaves the standard drive train intact, changing only the rear (short) drive shaft to put an electric motor in its place. Most 18-wheelers have dual drive axles behind the cab, with one or both moving the truck, depending on conditions.

This setup causes the truck to operate with two independent axles, but retains the ability to use only the conventional drive train should the electronics or motor no longer be operable.

Lithium-ion batteries are added and the whole system was developed in Daimler's Global Hybrid Center in Japan.

And so ...

Walmart will be putting two of the Cascadia Hybrids on the road in 2011 as part of a long-term strategic partnership with Daimler.

Photo credits: GreenBigTruck

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