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American utility places order for 18 hybrid utility trucks

SPRINGFIELD, Ohio -- American Electric Power (AEP) has led all North American utility companies in the implementati...

SPRINGFIELD, Ohio — American Electric Power (AEP) has led all North American utility companies in the implementation of hybrid-drive trucks, thanks to a new order of 18 hybrid utility trucks.

The order for 18 International DuraStar hybrid trucks was placed on Earth Day, Apr. 22 and will compliment the utility’s existing fleet of four hybrid trucks.

That places AEP atop all other North American utility companies in terms of hybrid vehicle use. Hybrid-drive utility trucks offer fuel savings of about 60%, because they use less fuel in stop-and-go traffic and also allow the utility to operate auxiliary devices such as a man-lift off the electric motor, eliminating the need to idle at job sites.

“AEP has experienced great results from our first four International hybrid trucks,” said Helen Murray, president and chief operating officer for Indiana Michigan Power (I&M), an operating company subsidiary of AEP. “We are proud to expand our use of hybrid trucks. It’s a good business decision, and the right thing to do for the environment.”

The latest order for 18 hybrid utility trucks will be fulfilled this summer, International officials said.

“The hybrid combination of the diesel engine and electric battery provides a number of advantages for companies like AEP,” said Jim Williams, director of sales and distribution, new products, Navistar. “We commend AEP for exhibiting leadership with this new technology. The ability to cut diesel fuel use in half, reduce emissions, reduce greenhouse gases and reduce engine wear not only is a smart environmental decision, it’s a smart business decision as well.”

International uses Eaton Corp.’s hybrid-electric drive system, which incorporates a motor/generator that captures braking energy, stores it in a battery pack and then uses that energy to help propel the vehicle.

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