Eaton Corp. has announced several enhancements it said will increase the fuel economy, performance and payback of its hybrid power system for commercial vehicles. The improvements include a new high-capacity battery, a new single-phase 115-volt AC Auxiliary Power Generator (APG), a higher capacity clutch to expand applications up to 860 lb-ft of torque, and a new remanufactured battery for aftermarket purchase.

The manufacturer said the new high-capacity lithium-ion battery design increases the fuel savings of the hybrid power system by an additional 5 to 10% while also improving vehicle performance. In addition, the new battery more than doubles the engine-off capability of the system for job-site operations and extends battery life.

“Not only will fleets realize greater fuel efficiency and reduced C02 emissions, but drivers will notice faster acceleration with the updated hybrid propulsion system,” said Kevin Beaty, product strategy and manufacturing operations and strategic sourcing manager, hybrid power systems for Eaton. “The new battery is designed to allow for simplified servicing of internal components.”

The new single-phase 5-kilowatt Auxiliary Power Generator.. The APG option converts high-voltage DC current from the battery to 115-volt AC current that can be used by any number of tools on the job site. The APG unit is more compact and 25 lbs lighter than Eaton’s previous offering, which the company said increases flexibility of installation.

“The new APG unit offers a soft-start function that can handle high inrush loads that require an immediate boost of power,” noted Gerard DeVito, engineering director – Eaton hybrid power systems. “The APG is also a fully isolated system from the high-voltage battery, which eliminates the need for a separate isolating transformer to further reduce cost and weight.”

Both the new high-capacity battery and APG will be rolled out during the fourth quarter of this year to serve utility applications. The high-capacity battery will be available for city delivery and beverage tractor applications in the third quarter of 2012.

In addition to the new battery and APG, Eaton is now offering higher capacity clutches that can handle engines up to 860 lb-ft of torque and 300 HP. This increased torque capacity results in greater vehicle performance for heavier applications, including select tandem axle configurations, the manufacturer said.

Lastly, Eaton will begin offering a remanufactured battery in July, which it said will provide fleets with an aftermarket battery option at an affordable cost.

“Fleets can now extend the life of their hybrid power system for a fraction of the cost of new service units,” said Beaty. “Our goal is to provide the greatest possible value to hybrid customers who want more sustainable fleets at the best possible cost.”

Eaton hybrid power systems employparallel-type diesel-electric hybrid architecture that incorporates an electric motor/generator between the output of an automated clutch and 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 and is ideal for stop-and-go applications.

All Eaton products are backed by the Roadranger network, which includes more than 200 drivetrain professionals throughout North America. For more information visit www.eaton.com/roadranger, where the latest product information is available, as well as service, parts and training assistance, 24 hours a day. In addition, experts are available in the Roadranger Call Center by dialing 1-800-826-HELP (4357) in the U.S. and Canada. In Mexico, dial 01-800-826-4357.