Looking through the interwebs today, I saw an interesting news piece from CleanTechnica. Their article titled “Volvo, Allison Seek To Clean Up Diesel Truck Emissions With Electric Drivetrains” intrigued me. This isn’t shocking to see. Every day manufacturers are coming out with new ways to phase out diesel-powered trucks so I wanted to see what this was all about.
To sum the article up, they basically pushed the harmfulness that any diesel truck creates. The diesel engine is great, but it has its drawbacks which include the gases it emits. You know, harmful to the environment and human health. They are saying that the “little bits of crud” that come out of the exhaust pass directly through the human bloodstream and lodge into vital organs such as brains, livers, kidneys, placentas, and other important body parts.
How do we combat that? Apparently, one of the first things that need to go is the axle. Allison Transmission, for those of you who don’t know, is an American manufacturer of drivetrain components for medium and heavy-duty trucks that are often talked about in the diesel-powered GM trucks. At the end of this month, Allison plans to present its new eGen Power electric axles for use in refuse and municipal vehicles. These will be designed to replace the traditional driveline in heavy-duty diesel trucks.
Why are we hearing about this? Although it is only for the refuse and municipal vehicles now, that doesn’t mean we couldn’t see this in our trucks in the future. These eGen Power axles are designed to fit between the wheels of trucks — meaning few adjustments to the chassis are necessary. Compatible with common vehicle frames, suspension, and wheel connections, these electric axles are designed to work with electrified, fuel cell, and hybrid trucks.
The complete drive system includes the electric drive system, multi-speed gearbox, oil coolers, and pumps. Backed by regenerative braking, a major feature they’re leaning on due to the constant stop-and-go duties of trucks, Allison has high hopes for this design. Because Allison hasn’t mentioned batteries being included with its axles, you would more than likely be forced to source them yourself.
Per CleanTechina, “There is plenty of room between the frame rails of heavy trucks to install batteries once the diesel engine, transmission, and driveshaft are deleted.” I understand this doesn’t directly affect our 3/4 and 1-ton trucks now, maybe one day it could. What do you think? Are you in support of all of these changes to our trucks?
Let us know in the comments below.