As part of the Volvo Group's focus on hybrid vehicles, Volvo Trucks is now commencing sales of heavy hybrid trucks, under the name Volvo FE Hybrid, to selected European markets. The hybrid trucks permit fuel savings of up to 30% and will be used primarily in distribution and refuse operations in an urban environment.
Application of hybrid technology is best-suited to densely populated areas, which involve the highest incidence of vehicle starts and stops. Volvo FE Hybrid is a parallel hybrid, a technology entailing that energy from the diesel engine and electric motor is used either simultaneously or independently of each other. The technology switches automatically between the two power sources. Volvo's hybrid technology has also been developed to maximize recycling of energy generated from braking; no extra charging from external sources is required. Electric power also cuts noise levels.
Depending on the driving cycle, the Volvo FE Hybrid can cut fuel and carbon dioxide emissions by between 15% and 20%. In addition, using the electric compactor on the hybrid refuse trucks, up to 30% can be saved.
The trucks will initially be produced in a limited series of about 100 vehicles, starting in June. These trucks will be delivered during the period 2011 to 2013 to selected European markets.