Volvo Trucks has developed what it says is its first hybrid vehicle designed for long-haul applications.

In combination with the vehicle's other improvements, the total reduction in fuel consumption and CO2 is around 30%, it says.

Volvo truck concept.Volvo truck concept.Volvo Trucks first unveiled the Volvo Concept Truck in May 2016, and has now developed and enhanced the vehicle. In addition to the improvements in aerodynamics, rolling resistance and reduced weight, the new version also features a hybrid powertrain.

The Volvo Concept Truck is the result of the Swedish part of a bilateral research project involving both the Swedish energy authority Energimyndigheten and the U.S. Department of Energy DOE).

An American Concept Truck, the SuperTruck project, was developed as part of the DOE's SuperTruck program, which promotes research and development to improve transport efficiency for long-haul operations in North America.

Volvo says the electric hybrid powertrain includes these features:

- Recovers energy when driving downhill on slopes steeper than 1%, or when braking. The recovered energy is stored in the vehicle's batteries and used to power the truck in electric mode on flat roads or low gradients.

- An enhanced version of Volvo Trucks' driver support system I-See, which has been developed specially for the hybrid powertrain, analyses the upcoming topography using information from GPS and the electronic map.

- In long haul transportation, it is estimated that the hybrid powertrain will allow the combustion engine to be shut off for up to 30% of driving time. This will save between 5-10% in fuel, depending on the vehicle and its drive cycle.