Volvo Powertrain will receive $3.5 million in federal funding to develop and to build four second-generation heavy-duty diesel-electric hybrid vehicles for the US Air Force, according to Senator Barbara A. Mikulski (D-Md.) Mikulski made the announcement at a press conference held at the Volvo Powertrain factory in Hagerstown, Md.
The project would expand on $6.8 million of federally funded work done over the past three years at the Mack Truck (owned by Volvo) engine-and-transmission plant in Hagerstown. The earlier efforts produced a Class 8 hybrid aircraft-refueling truck that being tested and was on display last month. (Earlier post.)
The new vehicles will include two garbage trucks and two other trucks, possibly dump trucks. Mack is the leading manufacturer of refuse trucks in North America with more than 70% of the market.
The first generation of the hybrid—a mild hybrid configuration with motor assist but no all-electric mode—has estimated fuel savings of 11%. The upcoming second generation—a full hybrid application with an all-electric launch capability—is targeted to save 44%.
The first-generation Class 8 refueling hybrid uses an Enova hybrid drive system with a post-transmission parallel configuration—the 25/80 kW electric drive motor connects to the driveline downstream of the transmission.
The funding comes as part of the $440 billion 2006 Defense spending bill, which was passed by the U.S. Senate. Senator Mikulski wrangled more than $10 million in funding for this project. This year’s allocation will fund the completion of the second-generation hybrid and the building of the four prototypes.