Hyliion has announced that they have patented a system that meets the compulsory requirements of US The Climate Action Plan which requires tractor-trailers to achieve a 20 per cent reduction in fuel consumption and emissions by 2018, and that all trucks built after 2021 be 24 per cent more fuel-efficient than an equivalent truck built in 2018.
The Hyliion solution is an add-on solution and the company claims that its system can be installed in less than an hour. The solution uses regenerative braking to capture power when the vehicle is slowing down, and reuses it to help push the trailer upon acceleration, resulting in up to 30 per cent immediate fuel savings, varying slightly between regional and long-haul.
Every year the U.S. trucking industry consumes 51 billion gallons of fuel, accounting for 20 per cent of overall industry operating costs. Annually, the industry spends over $100 billion on fuel. The average fuel economy of a tractor-trailer (18-wheeler) is 6.5 miles per gallon. Using the Hyliion system, the potential fuel savings- using an annual consumption rate of 18,462 gallons- would be 5,538 gallons. In terms of money they would be saving over $13,000 from $ 46,000 a year using the current average, on-road fuel prices.
An additional fuel conservation component of the Hyliion system is its function as an auxiliary power unit (APU), meaning it powers the cab of the truck while the driver is at a rest stop. The diesel engine does not have to run during the night, thus saving fuel. An industry-leading APU manufacturer estimates a truck idles 2500 hours at rest stops each year, or a little over eight hours a day, 300 days a year. This idling burns about 1.2 gallons of fuel every hour resulting in 3,000 gallons of diesel fuel, or 13.5 per cent of fuel being wasted at rest stops each year,.
Hyliion’s data analytics provides an additional tool to keep track of vehicles and make real-time route decisions, combined with enhanced traction, and improved trailer analytics. The aerodynamic package significantly reduces air resistance. The system replaces an existing axle system, and can be installed in an hour. By shifting some of the mechanical stress of braking onto the Hyliion system, brake pads and engines will go further and last longer, requiring less maintenance and fewer replacements.