Hybrid Trucks The Real Thing For Coke

Posted on February 28, 2008

Eaton Corp. announced that Coca-Cola Enterprises will purchase 120 new trucks in 2008 powered by Eaton’s hybrid electric drivetrain systems. The Coca-Cola order represents the largest North American commercial order to date for Eaton’s hybrid systems and follows the beverage company’s purchase of 20 trucks with Eaton hybrid power systems in 2007.

Eaton employs parallel-type, diesel-electric hybrid architecture with Eaton’s Fuller UltraShift automated transmission. It 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 for a given speed or used to operate the vehicle with electric power only.

Testing and evaluations conducted by Coca-Cola Enterprises found that Eaton’s hybrid-electric drivetrain equipped trucks decreased emissions by roughly 32% and fuel consumption by up to 37% as compared to conventionally-powered trucks in Coca-Cola’s current fleet. Coca-Cola also reported lower maintenance costs on the hybrid-powered trucks.

“In addition to the environmentally friendly advantages that hybrid vehicles deliver, we are also happy to report that driver acceptance has been highly favorable, especially in high start-and-stop applications,” said Dave Leasure, corporate director of fleet procurement for Coca-Cola Enterprises. “The hybrid drive units have been performing very well in communicating with the electronic engines, always giving us the necessary torque and horsepower when it is needed.”

The purchase will reportedly include Kenworth and International trucks.

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