Fuel Management

Freightliner M2e Hybrid Gets Down to Business

November 2008, Work Truck - Cover Story

by Grace Lauron - Also by this author

Click here for a pdf version of this article.


With the Freightliner Business Class M2e Hybrid, Freightliner Trucks, a division of Daimler Trucks North America, has taken a step toward Daimler’s goal of producing a zero-emissions vehicle. With fuel savings up to 1,500 gallons per vehicle, longer brake life, quiet electric power takeoff (ePTO), and idle time reduced as much as 87 percent, the M2e Hybrid skips the nonsense so fleets can get down to business.

 Stop-and-Go Won’t Slow Down Productivity

Built for stop-and-go operations, the Freightliner Business Class M2e Hybrid features the Eaton Parallel Electric Hybrid drivetrain system, tested over four years and 2 million miles. The parallel electric hybrid system allows fleets to operate with just the diesel engine or in combination with the hybrid electric motor. The diesel powertrain remains fully functional in the unlikely event the hybrid drive unit goes offline.

The hybrid motor provides additional power to launch the vehicle and improves fuel economy in high stop-and-go operations, ideal for utility, towing, pickup and delivery, and beverage applications.

Regenerative braking captures about 70 percent of the kinetic energy produced, recharging the hybrid’s battery. Energy normally lost during braking is stored in the batteries. Regenerative braking saves fuel, extends brake use, and allows for continual battery recharge in stop-and-go driving.

The truck’s hybrid drive power not only enhances fuel efficiency, but also provides an added boost for hills or rapid acceleration, helpful for vehicles that make frequent stops.

Stored energy also powers electric-only operation for ePTO and auxiliary power generation. Particularly suitable to utility applications, the M2e’s engine shuts off and the electric motor powers tools and hydraulic lifts. Fleets can save fuel, while quietly reducing emissions and idling. Electric-only ePTO operation provides significant reduction in emissions and idle time, and also offers operating flexibility.

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