Kenworth Medium Duty Hybrids to Enter Full Production

Sun August 24, 2008 - National Edition
Construction Equipment Guide

Kenworth will begin full production of medium duty, diesel-electric hybrid trucks this summer, the company announced.

Kenworth offers the fuel-efficient, hybrid option on its new T270 Class 6 and T370 Class 7 conventional models and will produce the trucks at the PACCAR plant in Ste- Therese, Que. Kenworth’s goal is to enhance fuel economy by up to 30 percent in pickup and delivery applications and up to 50 percent in utility operations.

“We’re excited to introduce the new Kenworth medium duty hybrids into production this summer as we help customers enhance fuel economy and reduce emissions,” said Gary Moore, Kenworth assistant general manager for marketing and sales.

“There is tremendous interest in our Kenworth hybrids, and excellent results have been reported by customers that were part of last year’s limited hybrid production.”

Moore noted that purchasers of Kenworth hybrids equipped with a PACCAR PX-6 engine and the Eaton hybrid system may qualify for a maximum federal tax credit of $6,000 (Class 6) and $12,000 (Class 7).

The Kenworth hybrids use an integral transmission-mounted motor/generator; frame-mounted 340-volt, lithium-ion battery pack; and dedicated power management system. Advanced powertrain controls monitor driving conditions and automatically select the ideal power mode, smoothly switching among electric only, combined diesel and electric, and diesel only power modes. Electricity generated through regenerative braking is stored and used for acceleration, assisting the diesel engine. The hybrid system is monitored through a dash display. As the power requirements for different driving conditions change, the screen constantly updates the driver on system status.

The Kenworth T270 and T370 hybrids use a PACCAR PX-6 engine rated from 200 to 300 hp (149 to 223 kW) and 520 to 620 ft.-lbs. of torque and an Eaton 6-speed UltraShift transmission. Halogen projector low beam head lamps provide 30 percent more light down the road and three times longer life than sealed beam headlamps, according to the manufacturer.

The hood is made of sheet molded composite (SMC) for enhanced fit and finish, while a hood assist device and 90-degree hood tilt opening offer increased access to the engine compartment for ease of service. A one-piece chrome or painted bumper and Metton quarter fenders provide additional durability and impact resistance.

Inside is an ergonomically-friendly, wrap-around instrument panel with large, easy-to-read, glare-free gauges.

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