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Most companies are focused on energy efficiency through reducing the energy a vehicle consumes: creating fuel-efficient engines, adding external panels that cut down on wind resistance, and making tires that don't impact your fuel efficiency as they start to wear. But Hyliion, a hybrid technology company in Pittsburgh, is finding a way to reuse energy that's been wasted instead by creating a lithium ion pack powered by the energy you lose when you decelerate.
Trucks lose a lot of stored up potential energy when they decelerate or go down a hill; all of the fuel put into getting the vehicle up a hill falls to the wayside, especially if you have to put on your brakes to stay below the speed limit. But this battery pack can be retrofitted onto a trailer to store part of that energy. The pack includes not only the battery but a smaller engine and propulsion system that replaces one of your trailer's passive axles and uses that energy to propel the trailer forward when you tap into it. This lowers the burden of reacceleration on your engine and fuel.
Because this device can be retrofitted into both trailers and trucks, companies with large fleets can devote trailers to particularly hilly routes that can best take advantage of the energy savings; even smaller businesses and owner-operators can use the battery and propulsion pack to make drives that previously were a drain of fuel costs. While the pack is still being tested and used on a small scale, the idea behind it can help bridge the gap between traditionally-powered vehicles and electric trucks. It can also make your semi-trailers themselves more energy-efficient. For more news about semi-trailer technology, go to Country Supply here.
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