Here's a totally different take on plug-in hybrid technology: at the National Truck Equipment Association show, Odyne Systems displayed a 2012 Ford F-750 truck equipped with a plug-in hybrid drivetrain.
Although it is still an electric hybrid, this Ford F-750 isn't anything like typical eco-minded hybrids with which you may be familiar. The truck shown here, for instance, weighs more than eight Chevrolet Volts combined.
Odyne's plug-in system fits lithium ion battery packs in 14- or 28-kWh capacities, as well as an electric motor/generator. The electric motor can provide up to 50 hp of additional power during acceleration, and later recapture energy during regenerative braking. Not only can the system improve the acceleration of giant trucks like the Ford F-750, it also can save as much as 1750 gallons of fuel annually in typical truck applications.
There are several other big benefits to have a plug-in hybrid setup on a big work truck like the Ford F-750. The engine can shut off more frequently when the truck is stationary, which reduces the amount of fuel wasted by idling; the chassis can be air conditioned with the engine off; and a special hydraulic pump attached to the electric motors means that the F-750's power take off (which can run accessories like pumps or compressors) can operate while the engine is turned off.
Odyne says its plug-in hybrid system only adds 1600 pounds to the F-750 chassis, minimally impacting its cargo capacity, and that the battery packs do not reduce the truck's ground clearance. Recharging the 14-kWh battery pack takes 11 hours on a 110-volt outlet or 3 hours on a 220-volt sources; the 28-kWh battery recharges in 22 hours and 5 hours, respectively.
Source: Odyne Systems