Eaton to Support Project to Develop and Deploy Medium-Duty Plug-in Hybrid Systems; Stimulus Funding to Support Largest Commercial PHEV Demonstration to Date
Eaton Corporation’s truck and electrical businesses will support a $45.4 million grant to develop a fully integrated, production plug-in hybrid system for Class 2 – 5 vehicles (8,501 – 19,500 lbs gross vehicle weight), and the accompanying demonstration of a fleet of 378 plug-in hybrid trucks and shuttle buses.
The funding is part of the recently announced $2.4 billion in grants by the US Department of Energy under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. (Earlier post.) This will represent the largest deployment of commercial PHEVs to date.
Eaton will work with grant recipient South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) and other affiliates, including the Electrical Power Research Institute (EPRI), Altec Industries, Compact Power Inc., Ford Motor Company and Southern California Edison, in the deployment of plug-in hybrid electric commercial vehicles to more than 50 utility and municipal fleets nationwide. Eaton will also provide infrastructure for the electrical charging of these vehicles.
The development and deployment of the plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV) and accompanying charging infrastructure will take place over 18 months. Vehicles will be evaluated over a two-year period.
The production and demonstration of this fleet of vehicles is a significant step in driving PHEV technology beyond the personal transportation platform to a daily work application. This project leverages Eaton’s current hybrid electric system and builds upon nearly three years of ongoing work by Eaton and EPRI to develop PHEV technology for commercial vehicles.— Mark Duvall, director of Electric Transportation at EPRI
In the utility truck application, the plug-in hybrids will be based on the Ford F550 chassis and will have a total range of at least 300 miles. The system will provide fuel economy improvement of up to 70% when compared to a standard utility vehicle, with similar reductions in emissions and noise. The entire system can be recharged by plugging it into a standard 120- or 240-volt electrical outlet. In addition, the trucks will be capable of powering auxiliary equipment and tools while stopped at a worksite.
An important element in the adoption of these vehicles is the electrical infrastructure for plug-in charging. Eaton will work with EPRI to develop plug-in station technology for use by utilities and other customers across the country.
In addition to being a leader in electrical infrastructure and systems, Eaton is a global leader in the production of hybrid power systems for trucks and buses, accumulating nearly 20 million road tested miles of service around the world. Eaton is the only company to offer hybrid electric as well as two hybrid hydraulic system technologies and the charging infrastructure for commercial and residential applications.