Battery electric delivery trucks truly began coming to fruition in 2010. The first triple digit deliveries of medium-duty delivery trucks came from Navistar, and Smith Electric closed 2010 with the purchase of its UK counterpart. Those are some of Pike Research's choices as top stories in the medium- and heavy-duty market for 2010, according to Reuters.
One top story occurred this summer, when Eaton began delivering its hydraulic launch assist refuse trucks. These systems move from test fleets to production this year. The hydraulic hybrid technology could experience growth in 2011, particularly within vehicles that operate with many stops. Cost could be the only thing standing in the way. Because hydraulic technology is already well established, hydraulic hybrid costs might not come down significantly more than electric hybrids using advanced battery technology.
Growth of mild hybrid plug-in electric power take-off (EPTO) class 7 and 8 heavy-duty trucks is another top story. The trucks do not use electricity for traction power, instead using batteries to power the equipment on the truck, allowing the engine to shut off.
Utility trucks are the current focus of the EPTO technology because they park and idle while operating booms or diggers. This reduction of idle time saves 1,000 to 1,500 gallons of diesel fuel annually. EPTO mild hybrids can park and work without idling for longer, because the stored energy is just used for the EPTO system; and the batteries are more affordable recyclable.