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Freightliner Custom Chassis Corporation Unveils Hydraulic Hybrid System

March 05, 2009

On March 4, Freightliner Custom Chassis Corporation (FCCC) introduced the newest addition to its robust alternative powertrain chassis development program-the pilot hydraulic hybrid walk-in van chassis. This latest alternative-fuel chassis from FCCC was launched at the National Truck Equipment Association (NTEA) Work Truck Show.

Boasting improved fuel economy and less brake wear due to regenerative braking, the hydraulic hybrid chassis is designed and engineered in partnership with Parker Hannifin Corporation to address environmental and cost-savings concerns.

Built on the FCCC MT-55 chassis, the hydraulic hybrid system stores energy during the braking process in an accumulator. The energy stored in the accumulator is then used to accelerate the vehicle on the next launch. Upon reacceleration, the vehicle utilizes the energy stored in the accumulator and once depleted, the engine is restarted.

Another feature of the hydraulic system is that the engine is not connected to the rear wheels of the vehicle, allowing it to run more efficiently as it doesn't need to track road speed, according to the company. Furthermore, the advanced engine-off feature allows the engine to turn off while idling at a stop. The engine only restarts when the energy stored in the accumulator is not enough to meet driving demands.

Because of its regenerative braking system, the hydraulic hybrid also requires less traditional friction braking, resulting in less brake wear and extended brake life. The regenerative braking system saves energy by recycling and storing it as hydraulic power, which can then be reused to propel the vehicle instead of losing it to heat as is the case with traditional brakes. The friction braking system is minimally used when the regenerative system is working, further extending brake life and lowering maintenance costs. 

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