Kenworth Unveils Prototype T680 Hybrid-Electric Tractor


Kenworth has debuted its new T680 tractor equipped with a parallel hybrid-electric propulsion system.

The special Kenworth T680 vehicle is part of the Hybrid Emission Cargo Transport (HECT) demonstration project, funded in part by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy and the South Coast Air Quality Management District.

The T680 HECT truck uses the Cummins Westport ISL G near-zero-emission engine fueled by compressed natural gas (CNG), as well as a generator to extend the truck’s battery range. The truck has a 30-mile 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.

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, the partners explain.

“Our near-zero-emission hybrid-electric Kenworth T680 has been developed to evaluate potential alternatives to diesel power for commercial vehicles,” states Stephan Olsen, Kenworth’s 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.”

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