ecoFRED - the first hybrid-electric Class A motorhome chassis  -  Roaming Times

Subscribe to Roaming Times newsletter Roaming Times - now combined with RVing Times - RV resources and links to other sections on Roaming Times




Like and Share Roaming Times on Facebook
feed and twitter icons feed and twitter icons

   

ecoFRED - the first hybrid-electric Class A motorhome chassis

"features a diesel engine coupled with an electric motor/generator and lithium-ion batteries, works in line with the transmission, enabling seamless operation incorporating both electric and diesel power"...

Freightliner ecoFRED motorhome chassis
Freightliner Chassis introduced at the first hybrid-electric Class A motorhome during December 2008. This new chassis will be available for order in the summer of 2009, with production expected to commence in the third quarter of 2009.

Equipped with Cummins ISB 6.7-liter engine with up to 300 hp and the Eaton hybrid-electric system, the new chassis - "ecoFRED" - is "so named because of its increased fuel economy and ecological/ environmental benefits." Freightliner say it has the additional benefits of significantly less brake wear due to regenerative braking, leading to lower replacement costs. It also boasts better acceleration and increased towing capacity, and operates similar to driving an automatic transmission.

Fleetwood and Winnebago have each built prototype coaches on ecoFRED and showed them at the National RV Trade Show in Kentucky in December 2008.

"The Fleetwood Hybrid concept vehicle built on the ecoFRED chassis exemplifies our ongoing commitment to bring new innovations to our dealers and customers," said Paul Eskritt, president of Fleetwood’s RV Group.

Bob Olson, Winnebago chairman, CEO and president added, "Winnebago Industries has a rich tradition of creating innovative fuel-efficient motorhomes, and we’re pleased to have partnered with Freightliner Custom Chassis Corporation on developing the ecoFRED chassis concept used in our Winnebago Adventurer Hybrid concept vehicle."  (See RoTi article - June 2009)

Olson noted, "We're also excited that our Adventurer Hybrid has the industry's first ecoFRED chassis equipped with an Auxiliary Power Generation (APG) unit that senses hybrid battery power levels and automatically engages the coach's engine to charge the batteries."

Chassis Provides Seamless Operation

ecoFRED, which features a diesel engine coupled with an electric motor/generator and lithium-ion batteries, works in line with the transmission, enabling seamless operation incorporating both electric and diesel power.

The lithium-ion batteries featured on the hybrid system capture and store energy during the regenerative braking phase of the vehicle’s operation. The batteries are constantly charged through the operation of the diesel engine, eliminating the need to plug into an electrical source. Both the diesel engine and the electric motor can provide power to the drivetrain. The sophisticated hybrid supervisory controller selects the most efficient mode of operation – diesel, electric or both – depending upon current operating conditions and driver demand.

Additionally with ecoFRED, motorcoach travel is not limited by unique fuel requirements or the need for special refueling locations as compared with other alternative power train vehicles.

ecoFRED also requires less braking because of its regenerative braking system, resulting in less brake wear and an extended brake life. Regenerative braking means that the HEV electric motor uses electricity to create torque, while also being able to reverse the process to use torque to create electricity. By reversing its electric motor to become a generator, electricity is fed back into the batteries, resulting in energy savings.

Another added benefit of ecoFRED is increased towing capacity with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 27,000 lbs. and a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 37,000 lbs. This enables travelers to carry more weight in the coach storage compartments or tow a heavier or additional vehicle.

Understanding the importance of maneuverability to motorhome owners as they travel and navigate through tight spatial constraints, FCCC engineers also designed ecoFRED to offer a best-in-class 55-degree wheel cut.

"Maneuverability is always a challenge for motorhome owners," said Tony Sippel, FCCC RV product manager. "Turning corners and entering and exiting parking areas can be difficult when operating a large vehicle. We incorporated a 55-degree wheel cut similar to the FRED chassis into the design of ecoFRED to allow drivers to more effectively navigate roadways, campgrounds and parking lots."

Also similar to the FRED chassis, ecoFRED does not have an engine hump or "dog house" typically found on a gas chassis. The result is a flat floor and more room in the driver cockpit, contributing to driver comfort and easier entry and egress from the seats to the back of the motorhome.

An idle-off feature will be available on ecoFRED in the near future. Idle-off enables the engine to shut down while sitting idle at traffic lights or while in traffic. This saves fuel by reducing engine idle time. The engine will shut off automatically after three to five motionless seconds. As soon as the driver removes pressure from the brake pedal, the engine will resume and normal driving conditions will apply.”

ecoFRED - the first hybrid-electric Class A motorhome chassis
 "available for order in the summer of 2009, with production expected to commence in the third quarter of 2009."...

What do you think?  Read RoTi readers' comments below and add your own opinion ...
latest RVing news, articles and press releases
Renegade: An Apropos nameRenegade motorcoach had a rough but fascinating beginning.8/26/2015 10:56:24 PM
Thor Motor Coach Releases Their Innovative 2016 RUV Class A MotorhomesThor releases 2016 Axis and Vegas Recreational Utility Vehicle (RUV) Class A motorhomes to the market.8/26/2015 1:18:31 AM
2016 Leisure Travel Vans Unity Corner BedThe 2016 Unity Corner Bed features an all-new European-designed body with integrated running boards, LED tail lights, and clean aerodynamic lines.8/18/2015 11:48:45 PM
50th History Book Press ReleaseTriple E Recreational Vehicles—celebrating its 50th year in business in 2015—is excited to announce 50 Years on the Road, a hard-cover history photo book commemorating half of a century of manufacturing RVs8/12/2015 12:19:24 AM
RVIA Best Of Show RVs - Livin' Lite IgnitesThe Ignite brand includes handcrafted decorative wood in its cabinetry doors, which brings a more residential feel and eye appeal to the RVs.8/2/2015 9:42:36 PM
12345678910...


SOME OF THE LATEST COMMENTS ABOUT RVING NEWS ITEMS:
(See also general comments further down this page)
Re: 2016 Leisure Travel Vans Unity Corner BedAndyInteresting8/22/2015 3:11:00 AM
Re: Little Dealer Little Prices RV Relocation Liquidation at Indian SchoolBill AbernathyThe "Little Dealer Little Prices" showed "Very Little" interest in entertaining our interest in any product priced at less than $30,000. We got a rude salesman, a bumpy ride to a few RV's that did not meet our needs, and not even a "Thanks for coming in." We went to RV Trader and drove to Carson City to get our wonderful 2008 Chalet 1935XL - which curiously has the floor plan of the 1937. We would have paid $28K for a new one, but the local Chalet dealer took 7 months to call us back. Thanks for saving us $15K 7/26/2015 4:44:00 PM
Re: Little Dealer Little Prices RV Relocation Liquidation at Indian SchoolBill AbernathyThe "Little Dealer Little Prices" showed "Very Little" interest in entertaining our interest in any product priced at less than $30,000. We got a rude salesman, a bumpy ride to a few RV's that did not meet our needs, and not even a "Thanks for coming in." We went to RV Trader and drove to Carson City to get our wonderful 2008 Chalet 1935XL - which curiously has the floor plan of the 1937. We would have paid $28K for a new one, but the local Chalet dealer took 7 months to call us back. Thanks for saving us $15K 7/26/2015 4:44:00 PM
Re: Little Dealer Little Prices RV Relocation Liquidation at Indian SchoolBill AbernathyThe "Little Dealer Little Prices" showed "Very Little" interest in entertaining our interest in any product priced at less than $30,000. We got a rude salesman, a bumpy ride to a few RV's that did not meet our needs, and not even a "Thanks for coming in." We went to RV Trader and drove to Carson City to get our wonderful 2008 Chalet 1935XL - which curiously has the floor plan of the 1937. We would have paid $28K for a new one, but the local Chalet dealer took 7 months to call us back. Thanks for saving us $15K 7/26/2015 4:44:00 PM
Re: White House Opens Door To Tolls On Interstate HighwaysdiverartWanted ::: windshields for Rexhall Aerbus---USED=OK diverart@yahoo.com 60558014244/27/2015 5:31:00 AM
12345678910...


 

  

Copyright ©1999-2012 Roaming Times. All rights reserved.
Contact us   Terms of Service   Site Map   About Us  
Roaming Times, Phoenix, AZ