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ArvinMeritor hybrid Class 8 truck gains greater notice

ArvinMeritor In recently hosted President Obama’s White House energy advisor, Carol Browner, at its Troy MI headquarters to discuss the company’s dual-mode hybrid Class 8 truck’s green benefits and test-drive the vehicle.

Browner was in metro Detroit to attend an Automation Alley roundtable, hosted by Rep Gary Peters, to review the advanced technologies being developed in Michigan. The session included representatives from Detroit automakers, parts suppliers, and academic and government researchers.

In June, the company participated in a hybrid truck convoy to Capitol Hill sponsored by Hybrid Truck Users Forum and CALSTART.

Peters’ Advanced Vehicle Technology Act of 2009 (HR 3246) approved recently by the House Science and Technology Committee will authorize $550 million for the Department of Energy to carry out advanced technology vehicle and component part research and development. The bill is expected to aggressively expand suppliers’ efforts to develop fuel-efficient commercial truck technologies.

ArvinMeritor’s hybrid truck combines both mechanical and electrical propulsion systems. Up to 48 miles per hour, vehicle propulsion is delivered entirely through an electric motor with power from either lithium ion batteries or an engine-driven generator. As the vehicle approaches highway speed, the drivetrain phases to a diesel-powered system with the electric motor providing power as required, allowing for total system optimization. The truck also can operate in a zero-emission mode over a range of vehicle driving conditions, allowing it to operate in places where emissions are restricted, such as a port or urban area.

The majority of commercial trucks on the road are Class 8 vehicles—more than 2.7 million in the United States alone. These trucks log roughly 130 billion miles and consume nearly 39 billion gallons of fuel each year.

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