[VIDEO] How Volvo Trucks' First Hybrid Drive Train Boosts Concept Truck Fuel Efficiency 30%

Volvo Concept Truck's electric-hybrid drive train generates electric energy when braking and stores it in batteries for later use, allowing the diesel engine to be shut off for up to 1/3 of drive time

Press release

Volvo Truck Tests a Hybrid Vehicle for Long Haul

With its Concept Truck, Volvo Trucks has developed its first hybrid vehicle designed for long haul applications. In combination with the vehicle’s other improvements, the total reduction in fuel consumption and CO2 is around 30%.

Volvo Trucks first unveiled the Volvo Concept Truck in May 2016, and has now developed and enhanced the vehicle even further. In addition to the improvements in aerodynamics, rolling resistance and reduced weight, the new version also features a hybrid powertrain – one of the first of its kind for heavy-duty trucks in long haul applications.

“We strive to be at the forefront of electromobility and to constantly push the limits when it comes to reducing fuel consumption and emissions,” says Claes Nilsson, CEO at Volvo Trucks. “Over the coming years, as society moves more and more towards renewable energy, we strongly believe that electromobility and hybrid technology will become increasingly important. The powertrain in our concept truck has been developed to improve transport efficiency and thereby help the industry towards sustainable transport. With the concept truck, we will gain valuable knowledge and experience, which will help us develop the technology further.”

The Volvo Concept Truck is the result of the Swedish part of a bilateral research project involving both the Swedish energy authority Energimyndigheten and the U.S. Department of Energy.

An American Concept Truck, the SuperTruck project, was developed as part of the U.S. Department of Energy’s SuperTruck program, which promotes research and development to improve transport efficiency for long-haul operations in North America.

Facts: Electric hybrid powertrain

Recovers energy when driving downhill on slopes steeper than 1%, or when braking.

Recovered energy is stored in the vehicle’s batteries and used to power the truck in electric mode on flat roads or low gradients.

Enhanced version of Volvo Trucks’ driver support system I-See, developed specially for the hybrid powertrain, analyzes topography ahead using information from GPS and the electronic map.

In long haul transportation, it is estimated that the hybrid powertrain will allow the combustion engine to be shut off for up to 30% of driving time. This is expected to save between 5% and 10% in fuel, depending on the vehicle and its drive cycle.