A prototype Kenworth T680 tractor equipped with a parallel hybrid electric propulsion system made its public debut at the Advanced Clean Transportation (ACT) Expo.
The special Kenworth T680 vehicle is part of the Hybrid Emission Cargo Transport (HECT) demonstration project. The HECT project is funded in part by the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), the U.S. Department of Energy and the South Coast Air Quality Management District.
The T680 HECT truck uses the Cummins Westport ISL G Near Zero (NZ) emission engine fueled by compressed natural gas (CNG), in combination with a generator to extend the truck’s battery range. The truck has a 30-mile (48 km) zero emissions range using the electricity stored in the lithium-ion batteries. When the batteries are depleted, the near-zero emission engine turns on to generate more energy and extend the truck’s range up to 250 miles (400 km).
Kenworth’s partner in developing the truck’s parallel hybrid electric propulsion system is BAE Systems. The system’s energy management and control capabilities ensure that energy generated by the engine and regenerative braking system is appropriately distributed through the dual-rotor electric motor, resulting in lower fuel consumption.
“Our near-zero emission hybrid-electric Kenworth T680 has been developed to evaluate potential alternatives to diesel power for commercial vehicles,” said Stephan Olsen, Kenworth director of product planning. “We believe that in certain applications, such as drayage and regional hauling, the T680 HECT truck will be an excellent solution for local clean air regulations, while delivering performance our customers expect. Later this year, when the truck is placed into service with Total Transportation Services Inc. (TTSI) at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, we anticipate it will perform equally, or even better than, current diesel trucks.”
Earlier this year, Kenworth presented its Zero Emission Cargo Transport (ZECT) – T680 prototype with a 100 kWh lithium-ion battery and a hydrogen fuel cell range-extender with range of 150 miles (240 km).