13 March 2006

The Volvo Group presented a concept hybrid system for heavy vehicles, such as trucks and buses, which can offer fuel savings of up to 35%. The system should enter series production by 2009.

The Volvo hybrid system—designated I-SAM—comprises an integrated starter, generator, and drive motor. I-SAM works together with an automatic converted mechanical transmission, which was developed within the Volvo Group, an electronic control unit, as well as conventional diesel engine and batteries that are charged by braking energy.

The system features parallel architecture, where the electric motor and diesel engine can work together to propell the vehicle. I-SAM provides sufficient power resources to start and accelerate even heavy vehicles to an appropriate speed without assistance from the diesel engine. The hybrid uses a bi-polar lead acid battery technology from Effpower.

The Volvo hybrid concept provides maximum fuel savings on routes with frequent braking and accelerations, such as urban bus traffic, city distribution, refuse collection and construction work. Estimated fuel savings can amount to 35%, said Volvo. Maintenance costs for vehicles can also be reduced through reduced wear on the braking system.

Source: Volvo (press release)