Kenworth will begin full production of medium-duty, diesel-electric hybrid trucks this summer. The company offers the fuel-efficient, hybrid option on its new T270 Class 6 and T370 Class 7 conventional models and will produce the trucks at the PACCAR plant in Ste-Therese, Que. Kenworth's goal is to enhance fuel economy by up to 30 percent in pickup and delivery applications and up to 50 percent in utility operations.
Purchasers of Kenworth hybrids equipped with a PACCAR PX-6 engine and the Eaton hybrid system, may qualify for a maximum federal tax credit of $6,000 (Class 6) and $12,000 (Class 7).
The Kenworth hybrids use an integral transmission-mounted motor/generator; frame-mounted 340-volt, lithium-ion battery pack; and dedicated power management system. Advanced powertrain controls monitor driving conditions and automatically select the ideal power mode, smoothly switching among electric only, combined diesel and electric, and diesel only power modes. Electricity generated through regenerative braking is stored and used for acceleration, assisting the diesel engine. The hybrid system is monitored through a dash display. As the power requirements for different driving conditions change, the screen constantly updates the driver on system status.
The Kenworth T270 and T370 hybrids use a PACCAR PX-6 engine rated from 200- to 300-horsepower and 520 to 620 foot-pounds of torque and an Eaton 6-speed UltraShift® transmission. Halogen projector low beam headlamps provide 30 percent more light down the road and three times longer life than sealed beam headlamps. The hood is made of sheet molded composite (SMC) for enhanced fit and finish, while a hood assist device and 90-degree hood tilt opening offer superior access to the engine compartment for ease of service. A one-piece chrome or painted bumper and Metton® quarter fenders provide additional durability and impact resistance.