Hybrids – Vehicles, Battery & Hydraulic Technology

Fleets Deploy Kenworth T370 Hybrid as Green Work Horse

November 2009, Green Fleet Magazine - Feature

by Cindy Brauer - Also by this author

A recognized "green" workhorse, and one in a product line that earned Kenworth an Environmental Protection Agency Clean Air Excellence award, the Class 7 Kenworth T370 Hybrid has been employed in a variety of medium-duty fleet applications across the U.S.

Organizations such as a Hawaiian utility, a Texas county government, and a Massachusetts-based moving company are achieving fuel savings and emissions reductions with the T370 Hybrid.

Parallel Hybrid System Developed with Eaton

Equipped with a PACCAR PX-6 6.7L engine, the T370's parallel hybrid system was developed in partnership with Eaton. The hybrid powertrain includes an integral transmission-mounted motor/generator, a frame-mounted 340-volt lithium-ion battery pack, and a dedicated power management system.

According to the manufacturer, the T370 Hybrid is particularly suited to slower, stop-and-go traffic. The hybrid system automatically switches between two modes of operation. Advanced powertrain controls monitor driving conditions and select the ideal power mode, switching among electric-only, combined diesel and electric, and diesel-only power modes. Stored electricity provides nearly 60 horsepower with 310 ft.-lb. of torque.

Braking events called "regenerative braking" generate and store electricity. Electrical power is used for acceleration, assisting the diesel engine.

The hybrid system is monitored through an in-dash display. As power requirements for driving conditions change, the screen reveals continually updated system status reports.

The T370 Hybrid can be spec'ed with an electric power take-off (ePTO), which draws energy from the batteries for engine-off operation.

Rated 33,000 lbs. GVWR, Kenworth T370 Hybrid applications include pickup  and delivery, utility, and service applications. Kenworth T370 hybrid tractors, available up to 55,000-lbs. GCW, are for local haul applications, including beverage, general freight, and grocery distribution.

An advanced forward-lighting system provides up to 30-percent more down-road coverage than conventional sealed beam designs, according to Kenworth.

Other T370 Hybrid features include:

■ A PACCAR PX-6 engine, delivering 300 hp at 2,600 rpm and 620 ft.-lb. of torque at 1,600 rpm.

■ An Eaton 6-speed UltraShift

hybrid transmission.

■ 153-inch minimum wheelbase.

■ Dana Spicer front axles, 8,000-14,600 lbs., and Dana rear axles, 16,000-26,000 lbs.

■ Air or hydraulic brakes.

■ Steel or polished aluminum wheels.

■ Kenworth aero-heated mirrors.

Kenworth's hybrid product line also includes the Class 6 T270 model. Purchasers of Kenworth hybrid trucks may qualify for a federal tax credit ranging from $6,000 to $12,000.

In developing hybrid trucks, Kenworth's stated goal is to enhance fuel economy by up to 30 percent in pickup and delivery applications and up to 50 percent in utility operations.

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