Attending the event from ArvinMeritor were Chip McClure, chairman, chief executive officer, and president; and Chad Mitts, director of product line management, hybrids and new technology.
ArvinMeritor's first hybrid drivetrain system was launched in a Wal-Mart Transportation vehicle earlier this year. Wal-Mart operates nearly 7,200 heavy-duty trucks in North America and has committed to doubling its fleet efficiency by 2015. The retailer is testing and evaluating the newly configured vehicle in regular linehaul service at one of its distribution centers throughout 2009.
The Meritor dual-mode hybrid drivetrain combines both mechanical and electrical propulsion systems. Under 48 mph, vehicle propulsion is delivered entirely through an electric motor with power from lithium ion batteries. These batteries are recharged through regenerative braking and/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, only as required, allowing for total system optimization.
The key differentiation of this system is its ability for zero-emission mode over a range of vehicle driving conditions. This allows the truck to operate in places where emissions are restricted, like a port or urban area.