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Finnish Companies to Develop Hybrid Powertrain For Heavy Trucks

May 19, 2017

The new hybrid-electric drive system is designed to work with Mercedes Benz diesel-powered Sisu Polar truck models. Photo: Sisu Auto
The new hybrid-electric drive system is designed to work with Mercedes Benz diesel-powered Sisu Polar truck models. Photo: Sisu Auto

Finland is not usually associated with being a hotbed of cutting-edge automotive design. But Europe is leading the charge on a wide range of new transportation technologies. And the Finns are certainly playing their part in the tech wave sweeping trucking today.

Two Finnish companies, Visedo and Sisu Auto, have developed a hybrid-electric parallel power system they say produces 1,140 horsepower and 3,687 lbs.-ft. of torque. Sisu is a Finnish truck manufacturer. Visedo is a Finnish manufacturer of heavy-duty hybrid and electric power systems that says it developed the electric power system as a proof-of-concept vehicle that integrates the parallel hybrid drive, which draws power from both an electric motor and a diesel engine connected via the same axle.

The new system is designed to work with Mercedes-Benz OM471 and OM473 diesel engines. Diesel is the primary power source, with the electric motor kicking in during peak energy demand periods. When needed, auxiliary power is delivered by a Visedo permanent-magnet electric motor, while the mechanical powertrain is controlled by a Visedo inverter and PowerBoost DC-DC converter. Excess energy is stored in a supercapacitor, with the entire system designed to be customizable with simple vehicle integration to meet customer needs. Additional power and charging requirements are initiated automatically, allowing the driver to concentrate on the road, although an in-cab monitor allows the driver to track of the system’s functions and take control of it if needed.

The main objective for Visedo and Sisu was to reduce fuel consumption and reduce emissions, the companies said. However, they noted that the hybrid system also boosts available low-speed torque for heavy duty trucks and also enables the use of the vehicle with or without electric power since the drive line is mechanically continuous from the diesel engine to the axle.

The companies unveiled the new drive system launched at this year’s Kuljetus transport tradeshow in Finland, saying it marks an important milestone for hybrid electric power to deliver fuel savings and emissions reductions in the heavy road transport sector.  

“We’re proud to be giving Europe its first look at such a breakthrough hybrid truck drive system that’s capable of delivering breakthrough power and performance while saving fuel and reducing emissions,” said Risto Tiainen, Visedo system solutions manager. “The revolution to electrify the world’s diesel transport is already underway. After delivering pioneering hybrid and electric power for passenger buses, Visedo is proud to be powering the next generation of cleaner truck transport solutions.”

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