Odyne Corporation, a leading developer of advanced plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) technology for trucks and buses, is working with Dueco, Inc. to develop a proprietary plug-in hybrid electric vehicle propulsion system optimized for aerial lift truck applications. (Earlier post.)
Instead of applying the serial-hybrid architecture used in its other platforms, however, Odyne is shifting focus for the aerial truck application, and concentrating instead on reducing truck idling time rather than delivering electric driving range. As a result, the plug-in will use a mild-parallel hybrid drive—Odyne’s first implementation of such—with a robust battery pack.
According to Roger Slotkin, Odyne’s CEO, the fuel consumption problem faced by most users of aerial lift trucks (e.g., utility trouble trucks) isn’t the driving, it’s the idling. Aerial trucks tend to be stationary for most of their 8-10 hour missions, burning between 0.8 to 1 gallon of fuel per hour while idling just to keep power flowing.
Odyne therefore is concentrating on delivering a system that will support an all-electric stationary mission, resulting in approximate fuel savings at current pricing of between $8,000 and $9,000 per year, mainly by cutting out the idling.
The post-transmission parallel hybrid drive will still provide about 20% fuel savings during driving, with regenerative braking and hybrid assist—but there is no all-electric drive mode for the truck.
Odyne is spec’ing a 40 kWh AGM lead-acid battery for the energy storage system, and is building the plug-in on a 2007-compliant chassis. Slotkin expects to have units in field testing by the end of the summer.