Hybrid trucks are few and far between. Currently, only GM and
DaimlerChrysler have hybrid trucks on the market. DaimlerChrysler
was first to market with its Dodge
Ram Hybrid Truck, going into production in December
The Dodge Ram Hybrid Truck, though, is only available as a
fleet vehicle, so the general public will just have to wait
for this one. This hybrid truck has been touted as a "Contractor
Special" since it can be used on-road, off-road or can
be used as a clean-burning electrical generator.
In fact, both GM hybrid trucks can also make the same claim
to fame. According to GM, the Chevy
Silverado Hybrid Truck is the world's first mass-produced
full-size hybrid pickup. Initially just rolled out to fleet
customers this pickup is available now to anyone, even contractors.
Whereas the Dodge Ram Hybrid Truck has a diesel-powered engine
to serve as an electric generator, the Chevy Silverado Hybrid
Sierra Hybrid trucks both have gasoline engines,
which serve the same purpose.
Hybrid pickup trucks are not the only game in town (since with
the global economy and all your town happens to be worldwide).
Heavy-Duty hybrid trucks are also getting into clean-green game.
Truck Users Forum (HTUF) is test-piloting 24 Class
6 and 7 hybrid electric utility trouble trucks. The utility
trucks use a pre-transmission parallel hybrid configuration,
with a 44-kW permanent magnet motor mounted directly in front
of the transmission. If successful, the pilot program will generate
production commitments and expanded purchases of this class
of truck. So far, the fuel economy improvement with the heavy-duty
hybrid trucks are in the 40 to 60-percent range over conventional
The HTUF also has its Hybrid Parcel Delivery Truck Working
Group busily working with manufacturers and companies such as
FedEx and UPS to develop hybrid technology for delivery trucks.
In fact, FedEx in combination with the Eaton Corporation already
has 18 hybrid trucks (OptiFleet E700) in service in Sacramento,
New York, Tampa and Washington, D.C. and it looking to expand
its service fleet with new technology. And of course, if you
have a fleet of hybrid vehicles such as these it only makes
sense to incorporate GPS tracking for trucks
in order to make sure all is going as planned and that they
are on schedule.
Besides hybrid delivery trucks, the HTUF has its Hybrid
Refuse Truck Working Group working to secure pilot models
and accelerate commercialization of hybrid drive systems
in refuse trucks. What can be more poetic and symbolic than
waste management trucks going green?