Arvinmeritor announced the extended availability of its Meritor Tire Inflation System (MTIS by PSI) Stimulus Package, and discussed its hybrid power test program with Wal-Mart Stores.

The MTIS by PSI Stimulus Package is available through July 31 from all Meritor distributors and dealers throughout North America. The program allows fleets to purchase four retrofit kits, for any axle combination — TN/TQ, TP, WP, HP, HN, HQ — and get a fifth kit at no charge.

The entire product and labor cost of the MTIS retrofit can be financed by Wirth Financial.

“It makes good business sense that fleet operators install the MTIS and realize on-going savings due to better fuel economy, improved tire wear characteristics and tire retreadability, and elimination of costs associated with manually checking tire pressures,” said Larry Burgin, vice-president and general manager, trailer products at ArvinMeritor. “Achieving an immediate 20% savings on the cost of the Meritor Tire Inflation System translates to a significant payback in roughly 12 months or less.”

A MTIS Savings Calculator wheel, designed to assist fleets in calculating their own return on investment and expected savings, is available free by phoning ArvinMeritor at 1-800-535-5560.

ArvinMeritor said the results of its hybrid power test program with Wal-Mart Stores has been “very positive.” The program involves a prototype heavy-duty truck equipped with the first Meritor diesel-electric drivetrain.

“While most hybrid systems today are best suited for start-stop applications, our hybrid drivetrain is specifically designed for linehaul, over-the-road trucks — the largest segment of the commercial vehicle population,” said Carsten J Reinhardt, president of ArvinMeritor's Commercial Vehicle Systems (CVS) business.

The Meritor dual-mode hybrid drivetrain combines both mechanical and electrical propulsion systems. Under 48 mph, vehicle propulsion is delivered entirely through an electric motor with power from lithium-ion batteries. These batteries are recharged through regenerative braking and/or an engine-driven generator.

As the vehicle approaches highway speed, the drivetrain phases to a diesel-powered system with the electric motor providing power, only as required, allowing for total system optimization.

A key feature of this system is its ability for zero-emission mode over a wide range of vehicle driving conditions. This allows the truck to operate in places where emissions are restricted, like a port or urban area.

Additionally, the system's batteries provide continuous power for hotel loads during an overnight rest period, eliminating the need for engine idling or other redundant anti-idling systems. Electrification of accessories such as the air or AC compressors provides further efficiency benefits.

The Meritor hybrid drivetrain was developed in collaboration with Navistar and Cummins, and features a proprietary motor/generator unit, high-capacity lithium-ion batteries, and an overall power-management system.

Also outfitted on the Wal-Mart tractor are a Meritor tandem drive axle, and an advanced MeritorWABCO anti-lock braking system with integrated stability control and driver assistance systems.