The First Hybrid Refuse Truck in the World Launched in Sweden


Steeply rising oil prices and a strong focus on the climate have made fuel-saving hybrid technology particularly interesting. Volvo Trucks is now taking an important step towards commercialisation of this technology for heavy vehicles by launching two hybrid refuse trucks that will be tested in regular daily operations in Sweden by refuse collection firms Renova and Ragn-Sells.

Volvo's hybrid solution combines a diesel engine with an electric motor, with the electric motor being used for moving off from standstill and for acceleration up to 20 km/h. At higher speeds, the diesel engine is activated. When the truck stops, the diesel engine automatically switches off, thus avoiding unnecessary idling. The batteries are recharged using the power that is generated during braking, making this system highly suitable for operating cycles involving repeated stops and starts, such as refuse collection duties. The hybrid refuse trucks are expected to use up to 20% less fuel and thus cut carbon dioxide emissions by a corresponding amount. What is more, one of the trucks is equipped with an extra battery pack that drives the refuse compactor, and this is charged via the mains electrical system when the truck is parked overnight. Its total reduction in carbon dioxide emissions is expected to be as much as 30%, giving this approach a better eco-effect than for instance a truck powered by natural gas. Electric power has the added advantage of being entirely exhaust-free and emitting low noise, important considerations for refuse collection vehicles that often operate in urban areas early in the morning.

Initially, hybrid technology will be utilised by vehicles in urban operations. In the longer term, however, Volvo aims to offer hybrid trucks within long-haul and construction too.

Source: Volvo Trucks

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