Aftermarket

Kenworth's Medium-Duty Hybrids to Enter Production

March 31, 2008

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Kenworth announced it will begin full production of medium-duty, diesel-electric hybrid trucks this summer.


Kenworth offers the fuel-efficient, hybrid option on its new T270 Class 6 and T370 Class 7 conventional models. Kenworth's goal is to enhance fuel economy by up to 30 percent in pickup and delivery applications and up to 50 percent in utility operations.

"There is tremendous interest in our Kenworth hybrids, and excellent results have been reported by customers that were part of last year's limited hybrid production," said Gary Moore, Kenworth assistant general manager for marketing and sales.

Moore noted that purchasers of Kenworth hybrids equipped with a Paccar PX-6 engine and the Eaton hybrid system may qualify for a maximum federal tax credit of $6,000 (Class 6) and $12,000 (Class 7).

The Kenworth hybrids use an integral transmission-mounted motor/generator; frame-mounted 340-volt, lithium-ion battery pack; and dedicated power management system. Advanced powertrain controls monitor driving conditions and automatically select the ideal power mode, smoothly switching among electric only, combined diesel and electric, and diesel only power modes. Electricity generated through regenerative braking is stored and used for acceleration, assisting the diesel engine. The hybrid system is monitored through a dash display. As the power requirements for different driving conditions change, the screen constantly updates the driver on system status.

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