Japan’s Mitsubishi Fuso Truck and Bus Corp. (MFTBC) is testing a hybrid-electric version of its “Super Great” heavy-duty truck, which the company plans to commercialize in the future. The hybrid vehicles demonstrated significant fuel efficiency improvements over conventional diesel-only vehicles during the testing, according to the OEM.
The heavy-duty hybrid truck technology is based on the technology used in the Canter Eco Hybrid light-duty truck, which has been in commercial operation since 2006. MFTBC claims that the heavy-duty hybrid testing, conducted on expressways in Japan, so far has shown an impressive 10% increase in fuel efficiency compared to conventional diesel-only powered vehicles.
The hybrid Super Great features a conventional diesel engine; electric motor/generator; lithium (Li)-ion battery; and related control software, all of which are configured in a parallel hybrid system.
The energy from braking is sent to generator, which converts the brake energy into electric energy and stores it in the lithium (Li)-ion battery for future use. By using the features in combination with each other according to driving conditions, fuel efficiency and emissions reduction are achieved.
MFTBC president & CEO Albert Kirchmann said the company’s development of heavy-duty hybrid highway trucks represents a significant expansion of their hybrid activities, and shows their focus on bringing cost-effective, low emission hybrid vehicles for a wide spectrum of commercial vehicle applications to market.
MFTBC vp of product engineering Gustav Tuschen said their evaluation so far shows that hybridization can indeed benefit heavy-duty trucks in typical long-haul operations.
"While small truck operations in big cities do benefit from hybrid powertrains, due to their ability to frequently recapture braking energy, heavy-duty highway trucks clearly can benefit as well," Tuschen said.
Daimler Trucks' Global Hybrid Center (GHC), which is located within MFTBC's operations in Japan, is developing the hybrid heavy-duty truck.