At the recent IAA Commercial Vehicle Expo in Hanover, Germany; MBtech a subsidiary of Mercedes-Benz unveiled a striking concept truck called the Reporter.
Stylistically the Report looks like what would happen if a modern European B-car and a pop-up camping trailer were left alone for a few hours, but it does incorporate some innovative features, including flexible strips of solar material that are both removable and storable.
The solar ‘roof’ helps charge the vehicle’s 12-volt battery, important considering that the Reporter is a natural gas-electric propelled conveyance; the two motors working together to allow this truck to reach a top speed of more than 80 mph and a range of 186 miles before recharging. What’s very interesting, is that besides working together, each power source can also operate independently – the 70 kW electric motor driving the rear wheels, while the 1.2-liter natural gas unit powers the fronts. In addition the gas engine can also run on regular petrol (gasoline) considerably extending the vehicle’s range.
The Reporter also boasts three different operating modes 4Dynamic (for maximum power when hauling or towing); 4Range (that minimizes fuel consumption) and Eco, where the vehicle runs purely on electric power. Considering that weight remains a challenge with many electric and hybrid type vehicles, the Reporter concept is constructed using a large amount of aluminum and carbon fiber reinforced plastics in order to keep mass to a minimum. Although the vehicle shown here is very much a concept, MBtech claims that eventual production is a very real possibility. At the IAA show, the company stated “two further project phases will follow soon.” Watch this space.
[Source: Pickup trucks.com]