Eric Bippus, executive vice president, sales & systems development, Hexagon Agility.

Eric Bippus, executive vice president, sales & systems development, Hexagon Agility, said the new PowerHybrid powertrain will allow fleets to make meaningful progress toward emissions goals when pairted with renewable natural gas.

Photo: Jack Roberts

Hexagon Agility and Brudeli Green Mobility (Brudeli), a Norwegian electric transmission technology company, announced a new hybrid powertrain collaboration. The initiative, which the companies called “disruptive,” was unveiled during a May 21 press conference at the Advanced Clean Transportation Expo (ACT Expo) in Las Vegas.

The companies said their new collaboration is aimed at the Class 7 and 8 North American truck markets. This partnership integrates Hexagon Agility’s CNG/RNG systems with Brudeli's patented plug-in PowerHybrid technology. The companies said this technology offers fleets the capability to maintain diesel-like duty cycles, realize significant fuel cost savings, achieve decarbonization goals, and comply with stringent emissions regulations.

Power, Performance and Flexibility

According to Lasse Bjørkhaug, CEO at Brudeli, the PowerHybrid allows long-haul trucks to operate up to 80% with electric energy. This is enabled by the use of a dual electric motor system.

This patented setup enables the powertrain to effortlessly switch between serial and parallel hybrid modes. This, in turn, allows the truck to operate in the most efficient mode as vehicle speeds, load, driving patterns, and battery charge level vary, maximizing fuel economy and performance dictate.

Bjørkhaug said the system provides flexibility for fleets to operate with clean energy options that are readily available.

The truck can be refueled with renewable natural gas (RNG) onsite or at one of the more than 800 public natural gas fueling stations across the U.S. when on longer trips.

To enable fleets to operate in zero-emission only mode in sensitive areas, the plug-in battery system can be charged overnight with a Level 2 charger, which is typically less expensive to install than DC fast chargers and can cost less per kWh consumed. The batteries will also charge via regenerative braking energy.

“There is growing awareness of the need to cut emissions from medium- and heavy-duty trucks, which make up more than 20% of overall CO2 emissions in the U.S. transport sector,” Bjørkhaug said. “Our partnership with Hexagon enables fleets in hard-to-electrify market segments to achieve zero-emission operation in sensitive areas, while eliminating range anxiety for longer trips with RNG. Additionally, fleet operators will benefit from trucks that offer superior electric-like performance without the same payload restrictions.”

Regulatory Compliance

Brudeli’s plug-in PowerHybrid technology, offering 75-miles of all-electric range, is targeted to be the very first NZEV-compliant (Near Zero Emission Vehicle) technology commercially available in the U.S. market, according to Eric Bippus, executive vice president, sales & systems development, Hexagon Agility.

Once NZEV certified, the Class 7 and 8 trucks with Brudeli’s technology would comply with the Advanced Clean Truck (ACT) rule, which has been adopted by California and ten additional states with more on the way.

Fleet operators would be compliant with California’s Advanced Clean Fleets (ACF) rule for the operating life of any vehicle equipped with this solution that is purchased before 2036.

Bippus said this technology pairing enables fleets to make meaningful progress toward ESG goals when fueled with RNG, which is widely available across the nation. In 2023, approximately 79% of all natural gas consumed for transportation in the U.S. came from renewable sources, not fossil fuels.

In California, where RNG accounts for 97% of on-road fuel for natural gas vehicles, the energy-weighted carbon intensity value was around negative 108 gCO2e/MJ in 2023, enabling fleets to go beyond carbon neutrality, and actually contribute to reducing global warming potential in the atmosphere.

Significant Cost Savings

The Brudeli PowerHybrid can meet the 75-mile requirements, using a small battery and moderate charging infrastructure, according to Bippus.

Compared to diesel, RNG is up to $2.00 less per diesel gallon equivalent (DGE), coupled with reduced electricity costs per mile. Utilizing RNG also may enable fleet owners in California to benefit from Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) credits, making the adoption of this solution financially compelling.

Lasse Bjørkhaug, CEO at Brudeli

Brudeli CEO Lasse Bjørkhaug introduces the company's PowerHybrid powertrain solution to North America at ACT Expo in Las Vegas on May 21.

Photo: Jack Roberts

“The Brudeli PowerHybrid enables fleet owners to retain the power, performance, and fuel cost-savings offered by natural gas engines, while simultaneously harnessing the efficiencies of electric,” Bippus added. “We believe hybrid could play a role in commercial trucking in the future, and we are excited to take an active role bringing that to the market.”

The companies plan to introduce the first pilot trucks with this technology in 2026, with serial production slated for 2028.

About the author
Jack Roberts

Jack Roberts

Executive Editor

Jack Roberts is known for reporting on advanced technology, such as intelligent drivetrains and autonomous vehicles. A commercial driver’s license holder, he also does test drives of new equipment and covers topics such as maintenance, fuel economy, vocational and medium-duty trucks and tires.

View Bio