The road to a better environment now includes greener commercial vehicles. International Truck and Engine Corporation, a division of Navistar (OTC: NAVZ), says it is the first company to enter commercial production of hybrid trucks.
International Truck and Engine has begun production on the DuraStar” Hybrid, a diesel hybrid electric medium-duty truck that the company claims will provide improved fuel efficiency and reduced engine emissions.
“We believe that hybrid technology is an important development for the commercial transportation sector,” said Daniel C. Ustian, President and Chief Executive Officer, Navistar International Corporation. “Increasing fuel efficiency and reducing emissions for the nation’s commercial trucks results in significant benefits for all of us. We strive to be the leader in developing energy efficient transportation solutions in the commercial truck, commercial bus and school bus industries.”
International says the DuraStar Hybrid diesel can provide dramatic fuel savings of 30-40% on a standard in-city pickup and delivery applications. In addition, it says fuel efficiency can increase to more than 60% in utility-type applications when the engine can be shut off, but electric power still operates the vehicle. For instance, when the hybrid truck operates equipment (like overhead utility booms) solely on the truck’s battery power, diesel emissions will be completely eliminated.
In 2006, International built and delivered 24 developmental hybrid units to 14 major utility companies across North America.
“These units are now successfully operating giving us confidence in the quality and reliability of our new hybrid electric product,” said Jim Williams, Director of Sales & Distribution, New Products, International Truck and Engine. “As part of this development process, we have teamed with the Hybrid Truck Users Forum (HTUF), which is a consortium of utility industry customers, Eaton Corporation, the Federal Government and the Weststart/Calstart organization. This was necessary to assist us with the cost of bringing this new technology to market. It also has given us the direct customer feedback and support that is required to make the program a success. The prototype phase is done — International is now building hybrid trucks.”
The Hybrid Truck Users Forum estimates that nearly 1,000 gallons of fuel can be saved annually on utility trucks.
The key challenge facing the trucking industry is the high initial cost to bring the hybrid technology to market. As International builds scale, hybrid truck prices are expected to decrease dramatically. Buyers can also secure government funding to help offset the cost of the new technology. The Energy Policy Act of For more information about ordering hybrid trucks, interested customers can visit www.InternationalTrucks.com.
About International Truck and Engine Corporation
International Truck and Engine Corporation, a Navistar company, produces medium and heavy trucks for various markets including over-the-road, pickup and delivery, construction, utility and governments. Based in Warrenville, Ill., International offers its products, parts and services through a network of nearly 1,000 dealer outlets North America and from more than 60 dealers in 90 countries throughout the world.