18 Wheels Of Steel: Hybrid lorries? Anyone?


WARNING: THIS MIGHT SOUND LIKE A GEEKY, “1970s TOP GEAR STYLE” AND SHORT ARTICLE, BUT THIS WILL HELP MANY OF YOU TO RAISE SOME QUESTIONS THAT HAVE PUT CARS INTO AN UNFAIR POSITION!

All these environmentalists, Greenpeacers and other people who don’t wash their hair just because they want to save nature for that 0.0001% economy are so angrily attacking the automobile and oil. They want them off the roads, they want them gone so daffodils could suddenly appear on car factory roofs. Of course, there is proof that car exhausts cause summers to be nicer and weather – warmer so you can economy on heating, but it’s not the cars that are the problem. LORRIES! (Trucks, if you’re from America) Why there is no big propulsion revolution for them?

060909-N-6380D-199First of all, let me tell you what is my problem here. You see, according to nrich.maths.org, an average car nowadays has become so economical it produces about 120 grams per kilometer of CO2 gas. Ok, you might not see the problem. But an empty truck (a FedEx or UPS truck that, to car nuts, is associated with delivery of new car parts) emits 220 grams per kilometer of CO2. That’s twice the amount of a normal car. And that’s not a big rig you see rolling down those motorways around the world delivering you everything from milk to furniture. Let’s do some approximation maths here. I know that European law dictates that a truck driver cannot drive for more than 9 hours without taking a rest as it could become dangerous as they could doze off and roll into the oncoming traffic and kill people. Let’s assume that the average speed of such a truck is 70 km/h (44 mph). So  9 X 70 = 630 km. And, assuming that the truck in question is that delivery truck mentioned earlier, we have 138 kg of CO2 in the air! LOTS! That’s almost the same as the weight of a filled up Vespa scooter. And that goes into air. If that would be just one delivery truck there wouldn’t be a big deal. But there are THOUSANDS of these trucks and lorries all around the world who are emitting even more. A car is not so problematic. An average car driver only uses his car to go to and from work, maybe to drive around town doing some stuff, driving the car for about 3 hours per day.

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What’s worse, even though car companies have been under pressure by these “friends of the nature” to develop cleaner, greener cars. But you haven’t heard anyone moaning about trucks. As a result, as I enter “hybrid trucks” or “electric trucks” the only thing that comes up online are some prototype small hybrid trucks, two delivery truck hybrids (one from DAF, one from Volvo Trucks) and American pick-ups (I am glad that Americans have started dealing with this problem with their inefficient, gas-guzzling symbols of American motoring). NOTHING about big, 18-wheel hybrids. Shameful and ridiculous. Because if someone started to attack trucks, I am more than convinced that will make a change for the good in the environment.

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It’s not like there is no possibility to implement it. The best way would be to use Tesla’s patent that was unveiled to the world for free – the floorpan of the car that doubles as a battery as it has hundreds of battery cells built in it. Also you could use the system that Chevrolet Volt and some London Busses use – have a diesel that is not connected to the wheels, but rather works as a generator that generates electricity that turns the wheels. Trains use this technology. Then you could have pure electric lorries for use around town. FedEx and UPS have all-electric delivery vans for the use in cities and it doesn’t sound like they are thinking of getting rid of them anytime soon.

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Reliability is also not an issue. Some reports say that Volvo and DAF trucks have proven that they are as reliable (if not more) than their fully-diesel powered counterparts. Servicing? Have you seen a truck driver recently on the road trying to fix his lorry? As they have already gone complex enough that drivers won’t be able to fix themselves unless they have a degree in mechanical engineering and for that they book a repair crew that come and meet them on the road, I don’t see the concern of them being too complex either.

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You could save so much fuel by having a hybrid and would have way less emissions from those vehicles who do nothing but pollute all day every day all year round. Volvo Trucks have claimed that their truck has a 30% reduction in fuel consumption using the hybrid set up. I am still surprised why no truck manufacturers make them. It’s about time!

 

 

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