Eaton Produces Commercial Hybrid Power Systems

Walt Moore | September 28, 2010
According to Eaton, the company has produced more than 220 hybrid-powered vehicles for test and evaluation.

Eaton recently announced that its hybrid power systems for medium-duty trucks are now commercially available and will be ready for customer deliveries in 2008. The hybrid systems, says Eaton, can be applied to the chassis of several North American vehicle manufacturers, including International Truck and Engine, Kenworth Truck, Peterbilt Motors and Freightliner. According to Kevin Beaty, manager of Eaton's Hybrid Power Systems business unit, the new systems have been under development for four years, including two million test miles in North America, Europe and Asia. The design of the hybrid power systems employs a "parallel-type diesel-electric hybrid architecture with Eaton's Fuller UltraShift automated transmission, incorporating an electric motor/generator between the output of an automated clutch and the input of the transmission. The system recovers energy normally lost during braking and stores the energy in batteries. When electric torque is blended with engine torque, the stored energy is used to improve fuel economy and vehicle performance for a given speed, or used to operate the vehicle with electric power only."