Volvo's Prototype Garbage Truck Gets Hybrid Upgrade

Volvo Hydbrid Garbage Truck
Volvo Hybrid Garbage Truck new

In brief: After a year and a half of field testing, Volvo Trucks is upgrading their hybrid refuse (garbage) truck with a re-vamped hybrid drive train.

Vehicle in the news

Make/Model: Refuse Truck
Manufacturer: Volvo Trucks

The word

Volvo Hybrid Refuse Truck

After 18 months of trials in Stockholm and Goteborg, Sweden, Volvo Trucks has taken what it's learned there and applied it to a new version of their hybrid refuse trucks.

Volvo's I-SAM (integrated starter, alternater, motor) parallel hybrid system fits the starter and drive motors and alternator between the clutch and the I-Shift auto-transmission.

The Volvo D7 7L diesel engine (300-340hp) and 600V permanent magnet 3-phase motor (120kW max, 800Nm) and 600V lithium-ion batteries will stay basically the same.

Components that will change are the power steering (now electric rather than pneumatic), new control systems including better battery management, and a longer-lifespan, newer-generation li-ion battery pack.

The new systems will continue to run on the bus' unique dual-drive train system (one drive line for the engine, one for the electrics) and will incorporate plug-in capacity as well.

Most of the general specifications for the bus will not change, though reliability and performance will improve with the new changes. Volvo Trucks will be field-testing the new buses in London early next year.

Small-scale production of the buses is expected to begin for European sales in 2012, being delayed by the global economic downturn.

And so ...

The interesting balance between the two drive-trains has proven tricky for Volvo, but pays off with greater efficiency overall. There has been no word when (or if) these will be sold in North America.

Photo credits: Volvo Trucks, Europe

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