Freightliner Custom Chassis Corporation Introduces Prototype Hybrid-Electric Class A Chassis

Several RV manufacturers are working on designs for hybrid RVs in an effort to make RVs cleaner and more fuel efficient. While many of these plans are still on the drawing board, some have finally move to the prototype stage.

Freightliner Custom Chassis Corporation recently introduced a prototype motorhome chassis that offers a glimpse of the greener RVs of the future at the recent National RV Trade Show.

According to Freightliner Custom Chassis Corporation  preliminary prototype testing of the innovative ecoFRED™ chassis shows significant improvements in fuel economy compared with traditional gas pullers.

ecoFRED, so named because of its increased fuel economy and ecological/ environmental benefits, has the additional benefits of significantly less brake wear due to regenerative braking, leading to lower replacement costs. It also boasts better acceleration and increased towing capacity, and operates similar to driving an automatic transmission.

ecoFRED, which features a diesel engine coupled with an electric motor/generator and lithium-ion batteries, works in line with the transmission, enabling seamless operation incorporating both electric and diesel power.

The lithium-ion batteries featured on the hybrid system capture and store energy during the regenerative braking phase of the vehicle’s operation. The batteries are constantly charged through the operation of the diesel engine, eliminating the need to plug into an electrical source. Both the diesel engine and the electric motor can provide power to the drivetrain. The sophisticated hybrid supervisory controller selects the most efficient mode of operation – diesel, electric or both – depending upon current operating conditions and driver demand.

Source: Freightliner Custom Chassis Corporation
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