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Fuel Efficient Trucks from Volvo

The world’s primary source of fuel for different industries comes from the reserves of fossil fuels which is a non-renewable source of energy. Since fossil fuel is non-renewable, the world is in danger of running out of supply. While the current amount of fossil fuel reserves can still last a long time, steps have been taken by different industries to lessen their dependency on petroleum products. The automotive industry is one of the major sectors in the global community that has taken a step towards not only in the development of alternative fuel but in implementing the use of such fuel as well. Several car manufacturers now produce vehicles that run on alternative fuel or alternative fuel mixed with gasoline.

One of the more prominent car manufacturers that attend to the need of decreasing the consumption of gasoline is Toyota. The Japanese outfit has introduced their first hybrid car in Japan and eventually also produced such in the US. This vehicle is the Toyota Prius. The car is now the most popular hybrid car in production with a buyer base that is exponentially expanding in number. Another car manufacturer committed to the environmental protection cause is the Ford Motor Company subsidiary Volvo. The car manufacturer known for producing safe cars are also taking steps forward in the development of alternative fuels which is evident in their three models in that are already in production. These units employ the FlexiFuel technology thus allowing them to run on a combination of bio-ethanol and gasoline which is called E85.

Their FlexiFuel technology being already used by some of their models already is also being sold in selected European markets. This is not the only technology being developed by the Sweden-based car manufacturer. They are also following in the steps of Toyota and Honda which have been using hybrid technology in their cars. The vehicles employing the hybrid technology runs not only on gasoline alone but is also powered at some point by electricity via an electric motor that is capable of giving enough torque and horsepower to the vehicle. This technology is what Volvo is developing not for application on their passenger cars but actually for the use of their trucks.

Volvo is the world’s second largest manufacturer of trucks behind General Motors, but they are making their bid for supremacy in that segment. In the process, they have developed a hybrid truck that they aim to sell to different industries especially those with a large fleet of trucks. In the development of their hybrid trucks, they have teamed up with the US Air Force which will be the first to use the hybrid truck technology. The US Air Force has already ordered four of the said trucks and the construction of the units is already underway. The government agency can save on their fuel consumption by as much as 35 per cent depending on driving conditions and application.

The technology behind the hybrid truck which was developed hand in hand by Volvo and the US Air Force and such is known as the I-SAM or Integrated Starter Alternator Motor. This uses the big Volvo alternator which doubles as an electric motor to help the truck’s diesel engine to drive the truck. The use of the alternator as an electric motor results to a better fuel economy over trucks which are powered only by a diesel engine. Thanks to relatively lesser fuel consumption, emissions are reduced therefore helping in preservation of the environment. The exhaust system further cleans the gas emitted by the engine a fact that makes the hybrid electric truck from Volvo not only fuel efficient cut is also clean.

The use of the alternator as an electric motor is already being employed by the Saturn Vue hybrid car. The technology is almost similar except for the vehicle being driven since the I-SAM technology is made for a much heavier vehicle. The alternator or electric motor takes over the operation of the truck during idling and when less power is needed. It can also be used to give added boost to the truck’s diesel engine.

About the Author: Glady Reign is a 32 year old is a consultant for an automotive firm based in Detroit, Mi. She is a native of the motor city and grew up around cars hence her expertise in the automotive field.

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