Europe's first hybrid refuse truck presented
In April 2008, Volvo Trucks took an important step towards commercialization of the fuel-saving hybrid technology for heavy vehicles by presenting two hybrid refuse trucks that will be tested in regular daily operations in Sweden by refuse collection firms Renova and Ragn-Sells. The hybrid refuse trucks are expected to use up to 20% less fuel and thus cut carbon dioxide emissions by a corresponding amount. What is more, one of the trucks is equipped with an extra battery pack that drives the refuse compactor, and this is charged via the main electrical system when the truck is parked overnight. Its total reduction in carbon dioxide emissions is expected to be as much as 30%, giving this approach a better eco-effect than for instance a truck powered by natural gas. Electric power has the added advantage of being entirely exhaust-free and emitting low noise, important considerations for refuse collection vehicles that often operate in urban areas early in the morning. Volvo Trucks will start producing hybrid trucks in 2009.