Lockheed Martin to apply experience in hybrid vehicles as research partner in 21st Century Truck Initiative
ROMULUS, MI, 21-APR-00 -- Lockheed Martin Control Systems, a leader in developing and producing hybrid vehicle propulsion systems, today joined Vice President Al Gore in a partnership to develop technology that will dramatically reduce fuel use and emissions in trucks and buses. As a founding partner in the 21st Century Truck Initiative, Control Systems will apply its commercially proven hybrid technology to developing medium and heavy trucks and buses that offer improved performance and reduced maintenance costs in addition to slashing emissions and fuel consumption.
Gore and officials from the Departments of Transportation, Energy, and Defense and the Environmental Protection Agency introduced the partnership at a news conference here.
We are very proud to bring our control systems integration expertise to this joint public- and private-sector initiative, said James Scanlon, Control Systems president. It is an honor to be recognized as a leader in addressing the critical need to improve the quality of our nation's air, conserve natural resources, and reduce operating costs for truck and bus operators. Control Systems is the industry's leading producer of hybrid propulsion systems for urban mass transit, having received a major commitment from New York City's transit authority to supply a fleet of 40-foot hybrid-powered buses.
Since, 1998, MTA New York City Transit has been operating a small test fleet of hybrid buses - electrically powered vehicles that use an on-board generator to propel the drive motor and recharge a series of batteries. Control Systems' HybriDrive¿ propulsion system offers significant emissions reductions and improvements in fuel economy.
Based on the success of the test fleet, New York City Transit in January placed its first production order, for 125 hybrid buses, scheduled for delivery in 2001. Control Systems is adapting its hybrid propulsion system to other vehicles that support the 21st Century Truck Initiative objectives, including:
A Class 8 tractor being developed in conjunction with Volvo Trucks North America and Radian Inc.
A 5-ton U.S. Army tactical truck.
A Federal Transit Administration program for demonstration of a fuel-cell-powered bus in conjunction with Georgetown University.
Because the batteries in hybrid vehicles are continually recharged, these vehicles are not subject to the range limitations common to totally electric vehicles. In the HybriDrive¿ system, the engine that turns the generator typically is smaller than that in a conventional truck or bus and runs at nearly constant speed, so it uses less fuel, runs cleaner, and requires less maintenance.
Hybrid vehicles are directly motor-driven, so there is no transmission. The result is faster and smoother acceleration and a vehicle that requires no transmission maintenance. In addition, a regenerative braking system reverses the motor's magnetic field during braking to slow the vehicle, generating additional electricity to charge the batteries and reducing brake wear.
Lockheed Martin Control Systems, based in Johnson City, N.Y., is a leader in electronic controls for the locomotive industry and the emerging electric vehicle market. It also is a major provider of electronic systems for global defense, civil, and commercial markets, producing flight, mission, and engine controls for the world aircraft and space market.