Autocar E3 Hybrid-Drive
Autocar, LLC, introduced its new E3 hybrid-drive Class 8 refuse truck, which is designed to significantly reduce fuel consumption in high start-and-stop applications. The truck was displayed at the Waste Expo show in Las Vegas in coordination with Parker Hannifin, the developer of the E3's RunWise hybrid-drive system. Autocar will offer its first vehicle featuring the Parker system in North America in Fall 2007.
"The E3 is something new for the industry and the environment," says Tom Vatter, Autocar vice president of sales and marketing. "We're the only manufacturer in the industry that focuses 100% on refuse trucks, and the E3 is an example of the innovation that kind of focus can produce. Our collaboration with Parker, a recognized leader in hybrid-drive technology, has produced a vehicle that not only provides a dramatic reduction in fuel consumption, but it also significantly reduces emissions, lowers operating costs, increases reliability, and provides a faster return on investment. We are confident that the E3 has the potential to become a new driving force in the refuse business."
There are 136 000 refuse trucks on the road every day of the year, and between 9 000 and 11 000 trucks are sold annually. As emission standards get stricter and the nation becomes more environmentally demanding, interest in hybrid-powered vehicles will continue to increase. The E3 was designed to meet the refuse industry's changing needs. Based on intelligence gathered from refuse companies, fleets, municipalities, end users and original equipment manufacturers, Autocar and Parker identified the need for weight neutrality, improved acceleration, reduced shifting, increased productivity, reduced brake wear, improved fuel economy, reduced emissions and overall vehicle reliability. The E3's RunWise drive system is designed to recover brake energy and store it to be used later. Energy is recovered when the unit is in hydrostatic mode and the brakes are applied. Upon braking, the RunWise controller commands the hydrostatic motors to become pumps and brakes the vehicle by converting vehicle inertia into stored, high-pressure energy in the accumulators. Accumulated energy is stored until the next time the vehicle launches, when it is discharged to accelerate the vehicle instead of using power from the diesel engine.
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