ecoFRED is the first hybrid-electric Class A motorhome chassis in the industry
GAFFNEY, S.C.–Freightliner Custom Chassis Corporation (FCCC)’s innovative ecoFRED™, the industry’s first hybrid-electric RV chassis, will be utilized this summer by Brad and Amy Herzog during their annual motorhome travel tour.
The Herzogs, spokespeople for the Recreational Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA), decided to include ecoFRED in their journey because of its reduced fuel consumption and emissions, improved acceleration and ease of maintenance. FCCC’s national service network was also integral to their decision to travel the country in the 2009 Winnebago Adventurer® built upon ecoFRED.
"Traveling in an RV teaches my family about both reducing consumption and appreciating natural wonders, but thanks to Freightliner’s ecoFRED chassis we'll be able to reduce emissions and increase fuel efficiency as well,” said Brad Herzog. “I've always felt that there has been an eco-friendly vibe to an RV journey, but now the technology is making it even more of an eco-friendly ride, too."
Equipped with the Eaton® hybrid-electric system, ecoFRED features all the attributes FCCC customers have come to expect from the FRED™ motorhome chassis, plus the additional benefits of less brake wear due to regenerative braking, leading to lower replacement and service costs. It also boasts better acceleration, increased towing capacity, and operates similar to driving an automatic transmission. ecoFRED features a diesel engine coupled with an electric motor/generator and lithium-ion batteries and 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, constantly charged through the operation of the diesel engine, eliminate 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.
“We are pleased to provide the RV industry with a hybrid-electric chassis, the first of its kind in the market,” said Jonathan Randall, director of sales and marketing for FCCC. “The Herzogs have made an excellent choice to tour with ecoFRED because they will undoubtedly achieve numerous benefits, including reducing energy consumption resulting in a reduced carbon footprint. ecoFRED also has all of the industry-best features of our FRED RV chassis, including best-in-class maneuverability and outstanding durability.”
This is the Herzogs’ 10th summer tour. Brad 40, Amy 39, sons Luke, 8, and Jesse, 7, live on California's Monterrey Peninsula, but they're starting the 50-day tour from Chicago, where their parents live.
The tour will include 15 states (Illinois, Missouri, Arkansas, Tennessee, Mississippi,
Louisiana, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, Ohio and Indiana), as well as Washington, D.C.
Fulfilling FCCC’s tag line “Driven by You,” the ecoFRED prototype was engineered to address environmental and fuel-savings priorities identified by FCCC’s motorhome customers. ecoFRED is also in line with Daimler AG (Daimler)’s “Shaping Future Transportation” global initiative focused on reducing pollutants and fuel consumption.
Freightliner Custom Chassis Corporation manufactures premium chassis for the motor-home, delivery walk-in van, and school bus and shuttle bus markets. Freightliner Custom Chassis Corporation is a subsidiary of Daimler Trucks North America LLC, a Daimler company.
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