President Barack Obama inspects plug-in hybrid utlility truck co-developed by Ricardo

President Barack Obama inspects plug-in hybrid utlility truck co-developed by Ricardo
22 April 2009

The project created by the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) and working closely with Eaton Corporation, was unveiled to President Barack Obama during his recent visit to the Electric Vehicle Technical Center of Southern California Edison

Ricardo’s involvement in the first phase of the project included the controls system support to Eaton for the integration of a high energy battery pack into a Ford F-550 chassis, and the modification of the control system to allow electric power take off operation.  The battery system was designed to supplement engine power and also provide power to operate the utility truck boom.  The plug-in hybrid drivetrain is expected to deliver up to 70% in fuel economy and emissions reduction.

The plug-in hybrid truck is the first of five ‘boom and bucket’ trucks that will be provided by Eaton, EPRI and Ford to public and private utility fleets in the United States for use and evaluation. In addition to fuel and emissions savings while the truck is on the road, additional energy savings are available by utilising the electric side of the system to power the ancillary systems and tools when the truck is stopped at a work site.

“We see this as a great opportunity to bring electric power into the commercial vehicle industry and utilize it both for improving fuel economy while driving, and for meeting power demands while stationary”, said Karina Morley, Ricardo global product group director for Controls & Electronics. “This project exemplifies Ricardo’s ongoing commitment to reduce fuel consumption and CO2 emissions”.  Ricardo has successfully completed well in excess of 100 hybrid projects that span hybrid configurations from micro hybrid to full hybrid and plug-in hybrids, in the commercial, military and automotive domains.



Ricardo plc: With technical centres and offices in the UK, USA, Germany, the Czech Republic, France, Italy, Russia, China, Japan, India and Korea, Ricardo is a leading independent technology provider and strategic consultant to the world’s transportation sector industries. The company’s engineering expertise ranges from vehicle systems integration, controls, electronics and software development, to the latest driveline and transmission systems and gasoline, diesel, hybrid and fuel cell powertrain technologies. Its customers include the world’s major vehicle, engine and transmission manufacturers, tier 1 suppliers and leading motorsport teams. Ricardo is committed to excellence and industry leadership in people, technology and knowledge; approximately 70 per cent of its employees are highly qualified multi-disciplined professional engineers and technicians. A public company, Ricardo plc posted sales of £197.7 million in financial year 2008 and is a constituent of the FTSE techMark 100 index – a group of innovative technology companies listed on the London Stock Exchange.  For more information, visit   


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