Terex develops a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle system

By Maria Hadlow18 June 2008

Terex plug-in hybrid electric vehicle system is being tested by a major US utilities fleet, before b

Terex plug-in hybrid electric vehicle system is being tested by a major US utilities fleet, before being brought to market

Terex has developed a new, PHEV (plug-in, hybrid electric vehicle) system which is designed to help utility truck owners "go green". To help Terex optimise the design, the system will be tested by a US company, which has one of the largest combination natural gas and electric utilities fleets in the US.

Like other hybrid systems, Terex's PHEV vehicle provides the capacity to operate the aerial lift without running the engine. This saves fuel, reduces emissions and eliminates noise in residential areas. But PHEV has additional advantages: it is self contained, easy to recharge and simple to implement.

Because the hybrid system is self contained it can work on most chassis including "old faithful trucks". The system does not interface with the transmission, so does not increase engine load. This means wear and tear is reduced and fleet owners can use smaller, more fuel efficient engines.

The Terex system is easily recharged after hours: it takes a standard 110V, 25-amp outlet and can be recharged in eight hours.

Implementing the system is relatively simple because the unit is self contained and the integrity of the truck remains unchanged. Terex has used time-tested standard parts and a separate motor generator from a well known hydraulics components company.

"Many hybrid vehicle technologies provide launch assist and interface with a transmission or chassis," said George Ellis, vice president and general manager of Terex Utilities. "These existing technologies are better suited for public transportation and waste collection. Terex Utilities designed this new plug-in technology from the bottom up specifically for the utility vocation and its needs. We're excited to deliver the first testing unit to a major utility fleet for further enhancements."

The first testing unit, an International 7300 with a Terex TL50 material handling aerial device and Terex Utility body, will shortly enter the test company's fleet. The utility fleet will provide test data to Terex Utilities for the creation of two production models. These trucks will be delivered to the test company later in 2008.

Terex said that this is the first plug-in hybrid aerial device that is being optimised by a major utility company before being bought to market.

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