Growing concern for the environment and desire for efficiency are driving demand for electric vehicles. While considerable progress has been made in consumer vehicles in this area, commercial vehicles have so far seen less innovation.
However, this is beginning to change, and several companies are now developing hybrid-electric systems for heavy-duty vehicles.
Infiniti Research has observed that automakers are increasingly manufacturing energy-efficient vehicles and improving the design of smart cars. One area that automakers focus on when producing electric and hybrid vehicles is power- and drivetrain systems that comprise of components such as a clutch, transmission, propeller shaft, propeller shaft yoke, and rear axle.
Volvo is currently testing a hybrid long-haul truck that is expected to produce 30 percent less CO2 than its normal counterparts and see fuel savings of 5 percent – 10 percent. The company has also updated its driver support system to determine when it is best to use the diesel engine and when to use the electric motor.
In a similar vein, Consolidated Metco and Protean Electric are partnering to create their own hybrid-electric solutions for medium and heavy-duty commercial vehicles. They have developed an in-wheel electric drive system that will improve fuel efficiency, weight, and drivetrain optimisation, as well as address other regulations and demands.