Truck makers Kenworth Truck Co. and Peterbilt Motors Co., both divisions of Paccar Corp., are joining forces with Capstone Turbine Corp. on a project to test a “microturbine”-based hybrid-electric truck design for Class 7 and Class 8 platforms. Capstone said Kenworth already has a test truck equipped with one of its C65 microturbines currently running at the Paccar Test Center in Washington State, with Peterbilt's test vehicle still in the assembly process.

“These programs are an important first in a several step process to potentially developing a commercially available microturbine-based hybrid product in the next several years,” said Darren Jamison, Capstone's president & CEO.

The company notes that a hybrid-electric truck equipped with an onboard microturbine can use its fuel to generate electricity to recharge the batteries even while the vehicle is in use, thus significantly increasing travel range compared to only relying on the battery energy storage.