Capstone Completes Track Testing of Micro-turbine Hybrid-Electric Truck


Capstone Turbine has successfully completed track testing of a Class 7 work truck fitted with its hybrid-electric powertrain featuring a 65 kW microturbine as an on-board range-extender for the plug-in electric system. The truck, which utilizes a Kenworth body, frame, and underpinnings, underwent track testing to confirm both high-speed performane and operation on varied grades of up to 20 percent.

The Capstone microturbine (a C65 unit) is configured to run on compressed natural gas (CNG) and is a generator (range-extender) for the 47 kWh lithium-ion battery pack and electric traction motors that propel the truck.

The development of the truck is a joint operation between Kenworth Truck and Capstone Turbine.

“The objective of this program is to demonstrate the considerable fuel economy benefits, lower emissions and significant reduction in greenhouse gas emissions of a microturbine-powered delivery or work vehicle,” said Darren Jamison, Capstone President and CEO.

Simulated results for low-mileage urban delivery routes indicate diesel equivalent truck miles-per-gallon could be as much as three times higher for the microturbine hybrid, with a corresponding reduction in greenhouse gas of 65% and a reduction of NOx by more than 90%.

Capstone and Kenworth plan to conduct additional drive cycle testing to confirm performance and to begin customer demonstration testing in real-world conditions later this year.