Belgium - Industry

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Belgium hosts several car assembly plants: Ford Genk, Audi Brussels, and Volvo Cars Gent. Toyota Motor Europe conducts business in Belgium that includes its European headquarters, logistics centers, and its technical R&D center for Europe. Besides the car OEMs, Belgium also hosts manufacturers of other types of vehicles, like bus and coach makers Van Hool, VDL Jonckheere, and a Volvo truck assembly plant. An important part of the vehicle industry is in the local supplier base of about 300 companies, including companies such as Punch Powertrain and VITO spin-off Bluways, a manufacturer and supplier of energy storage systems and hybrid-electric drive system products for heavy duty applications.

Volvo FE Hybrid. Image courtesy of Volvo Trucks.

In June 2011 the first series of about 100 hybrid trucks was expected to be produced in the Volvo Trucks plant in Ghent, Belgium. The first mass-produced hybrid trucks will be used primarily for distribution applications and garbage collection in urban environments.

The hybrid technique is particularly appropriate for operating cycles involving repeated stops and starts, and a period of intensive field testing has shown that fuel savings of more than 30% can be achieved.