Kenworth To Showcase Four Conventional Hybrids At Conference

Kenworth will showcase four medium-duty diesel-electric hybrid trucks at the 7th annual Hybrid Truck Users Forum (HTUF) Sept. 20-21 in Seattle at the Qwest Field Event Center. The national forum brings together fleets, suppliers and manufacturers to examine the latest in hybrid technology for the trucking industry.

Kenworth's featured medium duty conventional hybrids will include a pickup and delivery truck, utility service truck, municipal aerial truck, and straight chassis. All four vehicles are equipped with a PACCAR PX-6 engine rated at 240 hp and 560 ft-lb of torque. The primary components of Kenworth's medium-duty hybrids include an automated transmission with an integral motor/generator unit; frame-mounted, 340-volt battery pack; and a dedicated power management system.

"Hybrid technology looks very promising in the commercial vehicle market," said Bob Christensen, Kenworth general manager and PACCAR vice president, who noted that PACCAR, Kenworth's parent company, is this year's host and a sponsor of the forum. "Kenworth recently started deliveries of its medium-duty diesel-electric truck, which is targeted for pickup and delivery operations, municipal fleets and utilities. The hybrid will go into full production in 2008."

PACCAR recently announced that it has entered into an agreement with Eaton Corporation to jointly develop proprietary hybrid technology for heavy-duty commercial vehicles in North America. The innovative new products will be introduced in Kenworth Class 8 trucks in the North American market, targeted for initial production by the end of 2009.

Kenworth's goal for its new medium-duty hybrid is to enhance fuel economy by up to 30% in start-and-stop applications. Above 30 mph, the Kenworth hybrid operates like a standard diesel vehicle with all power coming from the engine during steady driving conditions. Below 30 mph, it uses a combination of diesel and electricity with the system automatically switching between the two modes of operation. Electricity generated through regenerative braking is stored and used for acceleration, assisting the diesel engine.

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