Freightliner Custom Chassis Corporation (FCCC) introduced its new hybrid-electric commercial bus chassis at BusCon 2008.
Designed for fuel savings and reduced emissions, the MB-HEV prototype was engineered to address environmental and cost-savings priorities as identified by FCCC's commercial bus customers. The MB-HEV, equipped with the Eaton hybrid-electric system offers up to a 40 percent reduction in fuel consumption.
"FCCC, in partnership with Eaton, was first to bring hybrid-electric vehicles to the commercial market and has been producing them for a number of years," said Jonathan Randall, director of sales and marketing for FCCC.
FCCC's hybrid-electric chassis, which features a diesel engine coupled with an electric motor/generator and lithium-ion batteries, works in line with the engine and transmission, enabling seamless operation incorporating electric and diesel power.
Powered by the Cummins ISB 6.7-liter engine with up to 300 hp and an
Eaton automatic transmission, the MB-HEV chassis features a maximum GVWR of 32,000 lbs.
The MB-HEV also features a 55-degree wheel cut and a 10 percent improvement over previous FCCC models.
The flat-floor driver cockpit area - the first of its kind in the commercial bus industry - allows the bus operator to safely move from the cockpit to the passenger area without having to step over a "doghouse," improving upon both safety and ease of use for the bus operator. The flat-floor design also offers a benefit to bus body builders, allowing them to develop the body without concessions for the doghouse.
The MB-HEV will be available for order in the fourth quarter of 2009, with production expected to commence in the first quarter of 2010. The purchase of the MB-HEV, which is EPA-certified in all 50 states, enables customers to be eligible for substantial federal tax credits.