Don’t Ignore Plug-in Hybrid Trucks: MIT

Researchers at MIT have some advice for electric vehicle advocates — don’t ignore plug-in hybrid powertrains just because battery electric drivetrains are the ideal.

Significant reductions in diesel pollution could be achieved tomorrow — well, OK, in the very near future — with the right combination of flex-fuel range extender engines and electric motors.

The motors would do the work while the engines would keep the battery charged. Think of it as a tractor trailer with the heart of a Chevy Volt or a Chrysler Pacific Hybrid.

Today virtually all heavy duty trucks are continuing to belch out diesel emissions, the kind that lead to serious health issues, 24 hours a day all across America and the rest of the world.

The alternative, they suggest, is to build plug-in hybrid electric trucks with onboard range extender internal combustion engines. The combination of a hybrid drive and a flex-fuel engine is “a way to enable the introduction of electric drive into the heavy truck sector, by making it possible to meet range and cost requirements, and doing it in a way that’s clean.”

Such trucks would be far cheaper to produce than all electric alternatives, making them that much more attractive to fleet operators.

They would emit far fewer pollutants and the best part is they could be on the road shortly — no waiting for the cost of batteries to go down or a network of hydrogen refueling stations to be constructed.

Plug-in hybrid heavy trucks could be the immediate answer we need right now, today, not 5, 10, or 20 years down the road. Because by then it will be far too late — for all of us. 

Reference- MIT Report, Clean Technica