Mar 312012

Hybrid Truck from Volvo

On the surface, the only thing that looks green about this huge lime truck is its colour. But underneath the enormous bonnet of this Volvo monster is a hybrid engine designed to show the world that eco-friendly vehicles need not be tiny little subcompacts, and they can be fast too!

Volvo DRIVe Logo - Green Hybrid and Electric Technology

Volvo DRIVe Logo - Green Hybrid and Electric Technology

Volvo Mean Green is the Name

Dubbed the Mean Green, this truck has been engineered to be the quickest hybrid truck on the planet, and its specs are extremely impressive. Built around a Volvo D16 engine that uses both diesel and electric, the Mean Green can generate an eye-watering 2,100 break horsepower and some 6,800Nm of torque. To put all that into perspective, your standard Toyota Prius, the king of commercially available hybrids, produces 134hp, meaning Volvo’s monster offering is a whopping 15 times more powerful.

Volvo Technology and Innovation

Volvo report that technology and innovation are at the core of their business.  The Mean Green Hybrid Truck is an example of their continued focus and new technologies and innovation.  Developing a fast hybrid truck just goes to show that the Volvo Hybrid drive system can be used to power many different types of vehicles.

Volvo Mean Green – Performance

The result is a truck that can get up to speeds of more than 152kms-per-hour over a one kilometer track. But whether or not the Mean Green can get up to those speeds in practice and break the current record won’t become apparent until it goes for the title on April 27 at an airfield in Utah in America. It’s a record that driver Boijie Ovebrink is trying to better after he set the previous fastest speed for a hybrid truck back in 2007.

Green Vehicles can deliver peak performance

What exactly is the point of all this? Well, for starters, it shows a skeptical public that green vehicles can deliver peak performance. Research continues to demonstrate that the greener the vehicle, the punier it is perceived to be by the public, whose take-up of hybrids is improving but still slow. In many ways, a truck is therefore perceived as the exact opposite to everything a hybrid supposedly represents.

Volvo Mean Green Hybrid Truck

Volvo Mean Green Hybrid Truck

For Volvo, it’s also a question of perception. With the Swedish carmaker due to follow up on its DRIVe hybrids with a plug-in hybrid, producing an attention-grabbing hybrid engine in a speedy truck offers an exciting insight into the company’s green present and future. It all fits into the ethos that car manufacturers have practiced for decades – if you demonstrate performance on a race track, it will translate to the road.

Volvo Hybrid Competition

And like many automakers, in recent years Volvo has routinely pledged its future to hybrid and electric vehicles. Mean Green may be something of a publicity stunt, but then isn’t green motoring all about changing perceptions about eco vehicles and what they can deliver to consumers? With this in mind, the breaking of the speed record by this hybrid truck later next month would represent yet another powerful reminder that a hybrid can compete with regular diesel and petrol vehicles.

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