Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT) yesterday announced plans to test heavy-duty commercial hybrid trucks and alternative fuels.
These include five Peterbilt models with diesel-electric hybrid power systems developed by Eaton Corporation (NYSE: ETN).
Others systems being tested include a full-propulsion Arvin Meritor (NYSE: ARM) hybrid that will initially operate in the Detroit area. This dual-mode diesel-electric hybrid is believed to be the first vehicle of its type.
Also, fifteen trucks operating in Buckeye, Arizona distribution center near Phoenix, will be converted by Environmental Development Group to run on Reclaimed Grease Fuel(TM), made with the waste brown cooking grease from Walmart stores. In addition, the remaining trucks located in the Buckeye distribution center will operate on an 80/20 blend of biodiesel made of reclaimed yellow waste grease.
Wal-Mart said it achieved more than a 25% increase in efficiency within its private fleet between 2005 and 2008, by using a combination of new, innovative technologies, better delivery routes and by loading its trailers more efficiently. Now, the company is working toward its goal of doubling its fleet efficiency by 2015, from its 2005 baseline.
"We look forward to determining if these technologies will help reduce our environmental footprint, are viable for our business and provide a return on investment," Chris Sultemeier, senior vice president of transportation for Wal-Mart, said.
The company plans to test these technologies throughout 2009.
In related news...
The American Trucking Associations last week asked Congress to enact a national 65 mile per hour speed limit and govern truck speeds at 65 mph or slower to reduce fuel consumption.
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