Hybrid terminal tractor projects

Another clean air initiative has taken shape – this time on the US East Coast – involving the integration of hybrid technology with two Kalmar terminal tractors. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the main benefactor of the project, together with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, APM Terminals, Parker Hannifin Corporation and the Port of Rotterdam, aims to lower emissions at the nation’s ports and demolish technical barriers for hybrid terminal tractors to become commercially viable. Kalmar will contribute to the two-year project by not only supplying the units but also providing the research and development required to implement the machines with the new technology.

The terminal tractors will use a diesel-hydraulic system that will combine the cleanest available diesel engine technology with components that use hydraulic fluid compression to store energy. The hybrid technology is expected to improve the vehicles’ fuel efficiency by 50 to 60 percent, reduce or eliminate emissions during idling, and decrease brake wear.

Says Stefan Johansson, Vice President of Trailer Handling for Kalmar: “The decision to develop hybrid terminal tractor technology on the US East Coast reflects US ports’ commitment to cleaner operations. Kalmar is at the forefront of R&D when it comes to environment-conscious products, which makes us the ideal partner to provide terminal tractor product expertise to this initiative.”

Kalmar is currently contributing to a two-year hybrid terminal tractor project launched at the end of 2006 with the West Coast Collaborative, an EPA-sponsored organisation, and the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. Three Kalmar terminal tractors will be equipped with either a hybrid-electric system or a hybrid-hydraulic system expected to reduce emissions by 93 percent, which equates to 19 tons of nitrogen oxide and 200 pounds of particulate matter.

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