Hybrid truck aims for speed record

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IOL mot pic mar26 Volvo Mean Green . This is Mean Green, the worlds fastest hybrid truck, but that is not enough for Boije Ovebrink.

This is Mean Green, the world's fastest hybrid truck - and that's official. But that's not good enough for Volvo, who built it, and driver Boije Ovebrink, who'll be aiming to beat his own world records for the standing start 500 metre, standing kilometre and flying kilometre on April 27 at Wendover Airfield in Utah in the US.

Volvo Trucks North America president Ron Huibers explained: “Technology and innovation are at the core of our business; we developed the world's fastest hybrid truck using the same Volvo hybrid drive system that drives hundreds of Volvo buses throughout the world - including London's famous double-deckers.”

Volvo's hybrid-technology boffins started with the chassis of a world-class racing truck, fitting it with a highly-tuned Volvo D16 engine and a modified version of the company's automated gearbox, which interacts with the hybrid's electric motor.

The result, says Ovebrink, is an explosive take-off from a standing start without any turbo lag.

“It's like a champagne cork, but without the sound effects.”

“For the first couple of seconds the truck just makes a slight whistle until the diesel engine, which runs on renewable liquid-rosin diesel, starts delivering.”

He reckons the world-record truck pumps out a total of 1550kW and close to 7000Nm - of which 150kW and 1200Nm come from the electric motor. Aerodynamics also play a major part in high-speed runs, hence Mean Green's modified North American VN cab.

And how fast is fast?

Ovebrink is confident of exceeding 260km/h at Wendover.

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