Volvo's hybrids for France and England
Volvo Trucks will deliver four refuse trucks with hybrid power to Veolia Propreté, one of the world's largest companies in refuse handling. Next autumn the four hybrid trucks will commence operations in France and England.
"It is particularly gratifying that Veolia Propreté, an international company renowned for its dedication to green development, wants to be among the very first to harness the benefits of hybrid technology," says Claes Nilsson, president of the Europe division at Volvo Trucks.
The four hybrid refuse trucks are all based on Volvo Trucks' heavy-duty FE model. What mainly differentiates these vehicles from regular refuse trucks is their driveline. The hybrid trucks have both a diesel engine and an electric motor and each power source can be used separately or in combination with the other. Since the electric motor is used when the vehicle is idling and for acceleration, fuel consumption can be cut by 15-20%. With the addition of an extra battery featuring a plug-in recharging facility to power the ancillaries, the hybrid refuse trucks can cut a further 10-15% off their fuel consumption figures, giving a total fuel reduction of up to 30%. Emissions of climate-impacting carbon dioxide are also significantly lower. Electric power gives exhaust-free and almost totally silent operation, a major benefit for refuse trucks that often operate in dense urban areas early in the morning.
Since April 2008, several field tests have been taking place involving Volvo Trucks' hybrid refuse trucks and the technology is fast approaching the commercialisation phase. Series production start is scheduled for the end of 2009. What is already perfectly clear, however, is that there is considerable interest in the market.
The four refuse trucks are pre-production vehicles that will be delivered by Volvo Trucks complete with all necessary bodywork. The vehicles will be leased by Veolia Propreté on a 24-month contract that covers service, maintenance and continuous software upgrades, among other things.
"We will carefully monitor how the trucks are used and how they are perceived by the drivers. This will provide us with vital information for the ongoing development of our hybrid vehicles," says Claes Nilsson.