Indianapolis. The Hybrid Drive Systems Div. of Parker Hannifin announced that its infinitely variable transmission (IVT) with brake energy recovery is now available for medium-duty trucks in North America.

In making the announcement today at the National Truck Equipment Assn.’s Work Truck Show, Shane Terblanche, general manager-Hybrid Drive Systems Div., said that the company is “happy to broaden our hydraulic hybrid drive technology to include the Class 4-6 medium-duty truck market. From the results we are seeing with our early adopters of the technology, up to 50% fuel economy improvement over a 7-month period, we fully anticipate that the Parker IVT will provide outstanding bottom line results for trucks in the snack food, beverage and parcel delivery markets as well as vehicles serving the work truck segment in general.”

The Parker IVT stores energy in a hydraulic high-pressure accumulator to seamlessly propel the vehicle, the company said. Continued stop-and-go operation of the vehicle recharges the hydraulic system and allows the truck to achieve a significant fuel economy improvement over traditional diesel-powered vehicles that use automatic transmissions while also reducing emissions.

The system captures and returns 71% of the vehicle’s kinetic energy for use in propulsion, Parker said, and with optimized engine control that decouples the engine from the drive wheels, fleets will see the vehicle operate at higher efficiencies for a given power level.

Also included is an engine-off feature that uses stored hydraulic power to operate the vehicle at low speeds while keeping the engine off to reduce emissions and fuel consumption. The vehicle also shuts down the engine during deceleration events to reduce the amount of time the engine idles, Parker added.

In addition to powering the vehicle engine, the Parker IVT also starts the engine, reducing wear on the 12-volt starter. The system powers the truck’s steering components as well. A mechanical connection from the engine to the rear axle allows for an efficient power transfer during highway-speed operation.