Plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) technology has already helped hundreds of thousands of car buyers cut their fuel consumption and emissions, and now a couple of Chinese companies are looking to bring the same benefits to heavy duty vehicles in the construction industry. Efficient Drivetrains, Inc. (EDI) and Shannxi Automotive have teamed up to develop the world's first PHEV cement mixer truck.
It's no secret that China has a major air pollution problem, and the government has implemented subsidy programs to encourage the switch to electric power for larger vehicles, such as city buses, to address it. EDI's PowerDrive drivetrains, which can operate in either fully electric or hybrid modes and are aimed at OEM automotive manufacturers, can be found in many such buses in China, including those produced by bus and truck manufacturer Shaanxi Automotive.
Now the two have partnered to integrate EDI's PowerDrive 8000 PHEV drivetrain and PowerSuite vehicle control software into Shaanxi Automotive's Class-8, 32-ton cement mixer truck. The result will be a vehicle that can not only make its way to construction site under electric power, but also operate its mixer electrically, thereby eliminating the need for the engine to be kept idling while the cement is mixed.
EDI says integration and testing of the PHEV drivetrain is in its final stages, and the truck will be ready for action in the field in the next couple of months. It is hoped the vehicle will demonstrate the potential for its PHEV drivetrain technology to cut costs and emissions in construction vehicles and appeal to a range of automakers.
"We continue to see a continuing and expanded industry trend towards the electrification of medium and heavy duty trucks across the globe," says EDI CEO, Joerg Ferchau. "EDI established a market leadership position early on with our differentiated portfolio of hybrid and electric drivetrain offerings, and we continue to innovate to drive change for the commercial vehicle industry. Our careful selection of distinguished influencer partnerships-like those of Shaanxi, and platform deployments on other major OEMs like Freightliner, Peterbilt, GM, Ford, International, and others, has positioned the company well to capture the market share."