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Fuso unveils 'Super Great' heavy-duty hybrid truck concept

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October 27, 2011

The Fuso Super Great HEV heavy-duty truck concept vehicle that will be on show at the 2011...

The Fuso Super Great HEV heavy-duty truck concept vehicle that will be on show at the 2011 Tokyo Motor Show

With the 2011 Tokyo Motor Show just a month away, commercial vehicle manufacturer Mitsubishi Fuso has provided a preview of its new heavy-duty hybrid truck concept that will be on display. With the recognizably Japanese moniker of the "Super Great HEV" (Hybrid Electric Vehicle), the truck features a conventional diesel engine, an electric motor/generator, lithium-ion battery and related control software that come together to provide what Fuso claims is an increase in fuel efficiency of as much as 10 percent over conventional diesel-only powered vehicles.

Based on technology used in the Canter Eco Hybrid commercial truck, which has sold around 1,200 units since its introduction in 2006, the newly developed Fuso Super Great HEV utilizes a parallel hybrid system, whereby power to drive the vehicle can come from the electric motor, the diesel engine, or both, depending on the driving conditions.

Hybrid technology is already seen as a good fit for commercial vehicles involved in operations, such as garbage collection or short-radius distribution, that sees them constantly stopping-and-starting, which allows energy captured from braking to be fed back to the battery. However, Fuso points out that long-haul trucks can also benefit from regenerative braking by recovering energy as they move down hills. To maximize the energy captured in such instances, Fuso says the Super Great HEV's hybrid system has been optimized so it can capture energy even when the vehicle is going down very slight grades.

"Our development of a long-haul hybrid truck represents a significant expansion of our hybrid activities and shows our focus on bringing cost-effective, low-emission commercial vehicles for a wide spectrum of applications," said Dr. Albert Kirchmann, Fuso President and CEO. "We will continue to promote advanced technologies to reduce emissions and increase fuel efficiency."

The company says that the first tests of the vehicle performed under real life conditions on motorways in Japan demonstrated an increase in fuel efficiency of as much as 10 percent versus a conventional diesel-only powered vehicle. Based on the positive test results, Fuso now plans to move ahead with development of heavy-duty hybrid trucks, with minimizing the weight of the hybrid system a main areas of focus.

Mitsubishi Fuso will give the Super Great HEV its show premiere at the 2011 Tokyo Motor Show, which runs from November 30 to December 11.

About the Author
Darren Quick Darren's love of technology started in primary school with a Nintendo Game & Watch Donkey Kong (still functioning) and a Commodore VIC 20 computer (not still functioning). In high school he upgraded to a 286 PC, and he's been following Moore's law ever since. This love of technology continued through a number of university courses and crappy jobs until 2008, when his interests found a home at Gizmag.   All articles by Darren Quick
9 Comments

Hate to tell ya....nothing new there. Saw a Peterbilt 20 years ago with something similar, except it ran a Chevy V-6. Nothing came of it. Believe it when I see it.

VoiceofReason
27th October, 2011 @ 10:02 pm PDT

I'll bet that it wont save enough in fuel costs to cover the cost of the batteries and electric motors.

Slowburn
28th October, 2011 @ 04:36 am PDT

For "Super Great" I want at least a %20 improvement

Captain Danger
28th October, 2011 @ 06:03 am PDT

All that trouble for a mere 10% increase in fuel efficiency?

Barry Gillies
28th October, 2011 @ 08:54 am PDT

As batteries are still in their infancy, wouldn't increased storage and wider use of compressed air augment their system? Plus idle-stop, with diesel + electric powered coolant heaters added to counter idle-stop's shortcomings? The engine would go through more start cycles, powered by a high speed air starter, but not be allowed to temperature cycle enough to lower longevity. Likewise, other functions could run from air, such as a generator and even climate control. As a failsafe, add an electric air compressor, completing the cycle of fuel/air/electricity. Perhaps they are already including these ideas.

Facebook User
28th October, 2011 @ 10:49 am PDT

Trucks are still big boxes, aerodynamically bad shape. Improving the shape of trucks and installing side and rearview cameras, removing the huge mirrors for less drag, omitting the hybrid system weight (and complexity) would also give a 10% saving in fuel economy. But hybrid is the fashion. As for air conditioning and cooling, perhaps heat pumps should be used, if it helps.

Gyula Bognar Jr
28th October, 2011 @ 02:09 pm PDT

The real problem is that hybrid powertrains only really provide an advantage in stop and go traffic. For Japan, where one would expect most of the truck deliveries to be in urban areas, this makes sense. For American long-haul trucking, which is mostly highway driving at steady speeds, not so much.

Jon A.
28th October, 2011 @ 03:44 pm PDT

Rail a full400% more efficient can run on natural gas, and with computer controls now available to rail industry may prove cheaper, and just as fast in many cases as trucks! America hemorrhages money as we speak! Huge 'Parasite" countries to support for foreign oil, when we have domestic natural gas. In the end, Solar, Wind, Wave, Hydro, Tidal, Geothermal, Gobar gas, and even Chinese Thorium fueled LFTR reactors will replace oil as it goes East to the Pan Eurasian Empire rising there, paying in highly prized Yuan , bidding against U.S. fiat "Funny Money" and winning every time! /the ball is certainly in Yankee Doodle's park! Can he even match this?

Bruce Miller
28th October, 2011 @ 06:20 pm PDT

With the use of predictive gear ratios and fast-changing transmissions optimal momentum can be maintained and that could make a heavier vehicle very efficient re: hybrid power. This will probably not occur until advanced software is available to augment the driver's ability to know what terrain is coming up and compute the optimal application of power or deceleration (combined with the ability to measure the load weight and also take advantage of lateral (and shifting weight) forces which compress suspension on one side/end while extending it on the other).

Trucks, heavier and slower, may also be prime candidates for pneumatic energy recovery via changes in tire pressure as the vehicle rolls over uneven pavement or unpaved roads.

The industry is in its absolute infancy and can made significant strides which should result in fuel savings of upwards of 28%, by our calculations.

Mirmillion
29th October, 2011 @ 11:48 am PDT
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