Hitachi Awarded Order From Eaton For Commercial Vehicle Hybrid System
Hitachi, Ltd. and Hitachi Vehicle Energy, Ltd., which manufactures lithium-ion batteries for hybrid electric vehicles (HEV) and other uses, announced that they have been awarded an order from U.S.-based Eaton Corp. to supply motors, inverters, lithium-ion batteries and other components for Eaton’s hybrid power systems to be delivered through 2011. Plans call for commercial vehicles using Eaton’s hybrid system to be rolled out in markets in North America, Europe and Asia.
Owing to stricter environmental regulations and rising concern about fuel economy worldwide, Hitachi expects the global market for commercial vehicle and passenger car HEVs to continue expanding from the 690,000 unit level recorded in 2007 to 1.5 million units in 2010. It is claimed that Eaton hybrid commercial vehicles deployed in fleet operations are today achieving between 30 and 60% savings in fuel costs, dependent on driving route and operating conditions, along with similar percentage decreases in NOx and other harmful emissions.
Eaton Corp. is described as a global leader in the development, production and marketing of commercial vehicle powertrain systems, including transmissions, clutches and hybrid power systems. In 2005, Eaton states that it was one of the first companies in the world to deliver to commercial vehicle manufacturers a hybrid power system including Hitachi hybrid components. This system is already in use in commercial vehicles in North America and China in package delivery vans, medium-duty pickup and delivery operations, utility repair, city passenger transit and other applications.
Hitachi develops and manufactures within the Hitachi Group major HEV components, namely motors, inverters and batteries. This and the delivery of these key components as systems are said to be Hitachi’s strengths. In particular, Hitachi subsidiary Hitachi Vehicle Energy is said to be the only battery manufacturer in the world supplying lithium-ion batteries for mass-produced vehicles.
"We’re pleased to have Hitachi as a supplier and collaborator in the introduction of hybrid electric power to the world’s commercial vehicle fleets," said Kevin Beaty, Business Unit Manager for Eaton’s Hybrid Power business.
Yasuhiko Honda, Vice President and Executive Officer, President & Chief Executive Officer, Automotive Systems Group of Hitachi, Ltd., said, "We’re delighted to receive this order from Eaton Corp. for motors, inverters, lithium-ion batteries and other components for their hybrid power systems."