If the Volvo SuperTruck tried to improve all aspects, drastically reducing weight, regulating the underpinnings, and radically improving aerodynamics, the new Volvo Concept Truck focuses only on aerodynamics and hybrid propulsion. However, the trailer weight was reduced by two tons, which increases efficiency or provides the ability to load more weight.
Volvo Trucks introduced the Volvo Concept Truck for the first time in May 2016 and now it was further improved. In addition to improving the aerodynamics, rolling resistance and low weight, the new version is provided with a hybrid driveline – one of the first of this type for heavy-duty trucks aimed at long distance transport applications.
Based on the Volvo FH 420, the truck concept has 40 percent better cab and trailer aerodynamics, with low rolling resistance tires and an intelligent hybrid propulsion.
The diesel engine, D13 Euro 6 Step C is assisted by an electric motor and a battery pack that provides autonomy in pure electric mode for 10 km when the batteries are fully charged.
The batteries can be charged via energy recovery system, when the truck runs downhill or is braking. During the long journeys, the diesel engine is switched off 30 percent of the time, which provides a reduction in fuel consumption by up to 10 percent. In combination with improved aerodynamics, and reduced weight of the trailer, the truck’s fuel consumption can be reduced by up to 30 percent. According to the Swedes, the main purpose of this project is to achieve a 50 percent reduction for trucks that make long voyages.
To make hybrid truck more efficiently, the “I-See” system was developed, which takes into account the topography of the route, over a distance of five kilometers ahead, due to the GPS and an electronic map, which allows time adjustment of the hybrid propulsion for an optimal operation regime for the diesel engine, electric motor, and the energy recovery system.
The hybrid propulsion of the new Volvo Concept Truck is based on the experience with Volvo hybrid and electric buses.
“We strive to be at the forefront of electromobility and to constantly push the limits when it comes to reducing fuel consumption and emissions,” declared Volvo Trucks’ CEO Claes Nilsson, in the release statement.
“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.”