Capstone Turbine Corporation is working with domestic heavy-duty truck manufacturers Kenworth and Peterbilt to demonstrate Class 7 and Class 8 microturbine range-extended series hybrid trucks.

Capstone has said it is working with both Kenworth and Peterbilt to demonstrate the effectiveness and efficiency of Capstone's CARB-certified C65 microturbines as an on-board power source for extending the range series hybrid electric trucks. The Capstone MicroTurbine serves as an onboard battery charger, enhancing range, providing added power for air conditioning and consistent acceleration, Capstone says.

The need for daytime battery charging or swapping is eliminated. At night, hybrid-electric vehicles can plug into the local grid, recharging when electric rates are at their lowest. This functionality makes the total fuel cost significantly lower than a conventional diesel or natural gas vehicle. Further, maintenance costs are reduced since the microturbine is air-cooled and uses no oil.

Both vehicles are concept trucks intended to quantify the performance, and economic benefits of a microturbine-based series hybrid solution. The Kenworth truck is operational and is currently running on the company's test track in Washington State. The Peterbilt truck is being assembled.

"We're excited to partner with two U.S. based heavy-duty truck companies in Kenworth Truck Company and Peterbilt Motors Company on exploring ways to integrate fuel-efficient microturbine technology into medium and heavy-duty trucks," said Darren Jamison, president and chief executive officer of Capstone Turbine Corporation. "We are committed to provide cost-effective business solutions for operators in the trucking industry while also helping to reduce emissions. These programs are an important first in a several step process to potentially developing a commercially available microturbine based hybrid product in the next several years."

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