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Old 07-10-2018, 03:31 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Why no hybrid trucks yet?

I'm probably beating a dead horse, but while watching a video about the Edison 2 lightweight car, it got me to wondering why after nearly 2 decades since the Honda Insight, there are no hybrid trucks?

In the Google Talk video, Kuttner brings up the point that the more massive a vehicle is, the more valuable it is to have an energy recovery system (hybrid) to capture kinetic energy during braking. His Edison 2 vehicle was designed to be lightweight so that it wouldn't need the benefit (or complexity/expense) of a hybrid drivetrain to recover braking energy.

What's surprising to me is that the first major vehicle to have regenerative braking was the Honda Insight; a vehicle that weighs 1,850 pounds.

Given that 20 years later, hybrid technology is more commonplace, what are the main reasons why we haven't seen a hybrid truck yet, especially when those are the vehicles with the most to gain from a hybrid drivetrain?

A Ford F150 averaging 18 MPG and 12,000 miles a year burns through about $2,000 in fuel per year at $3/gallon. Hybrids are estimated to improve fuel economy by 30%, putting that same truck at 23.4 MPG. That would be $1538 in fuel for an annual savings of almost $500.

As I've said elsewhere, a hybrid could allow the gas engine to be downsized significantly so that it's optimized for efficiency at highway cruising speed, while utilizing the electric torque for acceleration. The smaller engine could then be transverse mounted making the truck front wheel drive, with the electric motor(s) powering the rear. No more drive line. Brakes would need less maintenance as the regen does most of the stopping.

Our first hybrids should have been trucks, but instead we got the smallest cars. How did that happen?

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Old 07-10-2018, 03:55 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Yet?
GM already tried it about 10 years ago and no one wanted to pay thousands of dollars more to get just about the same highway milage and marginally better city milage.
I would say GM did a pretty good job on the hybrid Silverados, just no one wanted them.
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Old 07-10-2018, 04:59 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oil pan 4 View Post
Yet?
GM already tried it about 10 years ago and no one wanted to pay thousands of dollars more to get just about the same highway milage and marginally better city milage.
I would say GM did a pretty good job on the hybrid Silverados, just no one wanted them.
Maybe that was a decent attempt for 2009, but it's still lousy. It uses NiMh batteries. "On its own, the V8 is rated at 332 horsepower and 367 pound-feet of torque. GM engineers say that combined output with the electric motors is 379 hp." That's just a 47 HP boost, or 14% of the rated engine power. They didn't decrease the engine size at all. It still has a V8 and a driveline.

When I mean hybrid, I mean something capable of a 100hp or more boost of EV power, ability to regen most of the energy rather than use brakes, and tool around at low speed on battery only. Perhaps something with a 20kWh battery.
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Old 07-10-2018, 06:30 AM   #4 (permalink)
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There is this: (though it will probably only appeal to fleet buyers) W-15 Pickup | Workhorse
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Old 07-10-2018, 08:19 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Because they didn't think anyone would buy it if it didn't have a V8.

A hybrid truck with anything over a 10kw pack would likely be a plug in hybrid and would have a starting cost around $10,000 higher than the non hybrid.
GM knew the market probably wasn't there. Gambled and lost.
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Old 07-10-2018, 09:12 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Anything less than a full Tesla-like pack and motor would be a waste.
A 60+ kWh pack could pull a semi over a mountain and regenerate most of it back on the down-slope, saving the brakes at the same time.
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Old 07-10-2018, 01:11 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I don't think a 60kwh pack would do squat for a semi.
My leaf uses nearly 10kw just to pull a load of pallets 12 miles.
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Old 07-10-2018, 02:58 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Why do you think there are no hybrid trucks? UPS has had them for years, so has Waste Management. Workhorse sells a hybrid delivery truck: https://cleantechnica.com/2017/02/16...delivery-vans/

The reason there aren't more consumer hybrid pickup trucks should be obvious. It's the same reason it's hard to find something like the '80s to mid-'90s Toyotas (or other small pickup), despite their lasting popularity in the used market. Most of the people who buy new pickups want something that's big (if not gigantic) and noisy, because they're compensating, and they're willing to pay a lot more for this.
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Old 07-10-2018, 03:34 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I bough a leaf because I'm compensating.
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Old 07-10-2018, 05:13 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oil pan 4 View Post
I don't think a 60kwh pack would do squat for a semi.
My leaf uses nearly 10kw just to pull a load of pallets 12 miles.
60 kWh is the energy needed to lift a load of 30 metric tonnes up 720 meter (about 2400 foot).
That would in itself be enough to clear most hills, and we're talking about a hybrid solution, so if the engine and motor divide the load they'd go twice the height before the engine is left on its own. It isn't magic, but it is substantial.
The pack should be able to deliver 300 kW to the wheels, doubling the power available for acceleration and climbing. That would save truck drivers a lot of time.

A 10 kWh pack in a semi would only work well as a start-stop system. It would run out in 2 miles of city traffic, and it wouldn't be able to provide enough power to make much difference in acceleration.

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