WestStart Launches Utility Deployment of 20 Hybrid Trucks

November 3, 2004


Photo of a hybrid-electric utility truck

This hybrid-electric utility truck was developed jointly by International and Eaton.
Credit: International Truck and Engine Corporation

WestStart announced in mid-October that Eaton Corporation and International Truck and Engine Corporation have been selected to build more than 20 pre-production hybrid-electric work trucks for deployment at 13 utilities across the United States. The trucks promise to increase fuel efficiency by 40 to 60 percent while also serving as power sources at work sites. The trucks are early versions of vehicles that may be commercially available within the next four years, and are being evaluated by utilities as part of the Hybrid Truck Users Forum (HTUF), a joint program of WestStart and the U.S. Army's National Automotive Center.

WestStart bills itself as the nation's leading advanced transportation technology industry organization, with the participation of more than 115 companies and agencies. Its California operating division does business as CALSTART. According to WestStart, the United States could take the lead on hybrid trucks, as there are already more than 10 leading U.S. manufacturers of heavy-duty hybrid propulsion systems. See the WestStart press release and the HTUF Web site.

FedEx Express, a subsidiary of FedEx Corporation, is also pursuing hybrid electric trucks, and has just placed 10 hybrid electric delivery trucks into service in New York City. The FedEx hybrid electric vehicle decreases particulate emissions by 96 percent and travels 57 percent farther on a gallon of fuel. The New York launch is a joint initiative with Environmental Defense, Eaton Corporation, and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, and follows the March launch of two FedEx hybrid electric trucks. See the FedEx press release.