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Volvo’s new hybrid truck: the Mean Green

Volvo hybrid - Mean Green

When it comes to automobile hybrid technology there’s a very valid conversation being held in regards to whether or not they are indeed more energy efficient when you take into account the entire production process, especially when you look at the environmental impact of producing and transporting the actual hybrid car batteries. We’ll talk about this issue in a future article, today however we’ll take a quick look at one of Volvo’s newest hybrid solutions, the hybrid truck known as the “Mean Green” at the moment.

The new Volvo truck combines a diesel engine with an electric motor and can accelerate solely under electric power, thus promoting lower fuel consumption, emissions and of course lower noise levels as well. Preliminary calculations indicate that the fuel savings can amount to somewhere between twenty and thirty percent, with a similar reduction to its environmental impact.

Recently the mean Green broke two world speed records at the Wendoveer Airfield in Utah. While it didn’t reach its planned top velocity of 165 mph, it did achieve the records for the standing kilometer and the flying kilometer. The 147 mph that it did reach is quite a respectable speed, especially when you consider that this is basically a truck meant to haul trailers down a highway, those are hardly the types of speeds that it is expected reach normally – however when taking into account the resistance of the carry load, it’s good to know what type of power the truck can develop.

The standing kilometer is measured from a stop, and the Mean Green topped 95 mph in this category.

The flying kilometer means that the drivers get a small distance to gather up some speed before starting the run.

The previous records for the truck were 135.9 mph for the flying kilometer and 94.6 mph in the standing one, runs which were completed in June of 2011 in Sweden.

While the truck did feature a modified aerodynamic body it was still mostly made up of Volvo production components and the engine was a tuned Volvo D16 coupled with a modified version of the I-Shift gearbox, also of their own design. The electric motor develops about 200 HP and 885 lb-ft of torque – it should be mentioned that the total HP the truck develops is 2,100 and 5000 lb-ft of torque.

The truck’s driver and owner, Boije Overbrink mentioned to be very pleased with his truck’s performance, especially considering that the tests took place at more than 4,200 feet above sea level.

The new speed records, which were verified by the United States Auto Club should be recognized by the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile in thirty to sixty days.


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