The new W62 walk-in truck platform introduced by Workhorse Custom Chassis at the National Transportation Equipment Association Work Truck Show brings new gas and diesel choices to the heavier duty (19,500 and 23,500 lb. GVWR) category of walk-in trucks. But the W62 also provides yet another choice: the first hybrid truck platform manufactured by Workhorse. One such unit is on display at the special hybrid truck exhibit at this year’s NTEA show. Last summer, Workhorse was challenged by its parent company, International Truck and Engine, to develop an effective way of integrating electric hybrid components from Eaton Corporation into the new W62 chassis to fulfill an order for UPS. Workhorse has been partnering with Azure Dynamics Corporation on orders of electric hybrid versions of its W42 chassis (9,400 to 16,000 lb. GVWR). These were series electric hybrids using the gasoline powered versions (GM Vortec™ 6.0L and 4.8L engines) of the truck. In this process, a contracted supplier added the hybrid components in the final stage of manufacturing with minor design changes. With the W62, the challenge facing the Workhorse engineers was to design a more intimate integration of parallel hybrid components with existing chassis hardware for the diesel version powered by International’s V-6 VT-275 diesel engine (200 horsepower, 440 lb.-ft. of torque). It would also be a design that would require a significantly different manufacturing process, with hybrid components added far earlier in the build cycle. The design team began in August to develop the best way to integrate Eaton’s various components, such its automated mechanical transmission. By the end of November the design work was completed and the new manufacturing process established. With additional parts and tools ordered, the manufacturing operation then proceeded under the control of a dedicated nine-person team. The W62 platform at the special NTEA hybrid display is one unit of a larger order that was completed by Workhorse last month. Workhorse says early projections indicate a 30 to 50 percent savings in fuel costs.
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