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Freightliner debuts first hybrid beverage truck (February 26, 2008)

ATLANTA, Ga. -- Freightliner unveiled its first non-utility medium-duty hybrid truck today a Business Class M2e d...


This Business Class M2e hybrid beverage truck was unveiled at the Work Truck Show.
This Business Class M2e hybrid beverage truck was unveiled at the Work Truck Show.

ATLANTA, Ga. — Freightliner unveiled its first non-utility medium-duty hybrid truck today a Business Class M2e drop-frame beverage truck.

The Class 6 truck is built upon Eaton’s hybrid-electric system, which is expected to deliver fuel savings of 30-50% in beverage delivery applications, according to Melissa Kellogg, director of product marketing for Freightliner.

“The vehicle you see here is the first drop-frame hybrid beverage truck every built,” Kellogg announced during a press conference this afternoon. “The beverage industry benefits a great deal from hybrids, as does any industry that has their trucks make frequent stops, such as any pickup and delivery operation.”

Freightliner cleverly mounted the bulky Power Electronics Carrier (battery box) on the ceiling of the body, near the front of the box. That doesn’t impede payload and provides easy accessibility while freeing up frame rail space. Company officials said it can also be mounted on the frame if the customer prefers.

Other hybrid components were mounted underneath and behind the cab.

Like all medium-duty hybrids, it’s expected the cost of the Business Class M2e will come at about a $40,000 premium compared to a traditional drive vehicle. In the US, government incentives can offset up to 80% of that up-charge. Here in Canada, customers investing in hybrid trucks don’t currently receive government help, which means the fuel savings will have to provide a payback. That’s not unrealistic, Freightliner officials said.

“Testimonials of customers who used our hybrid utility truck state that they nearly doubled their fuel mileage,” Kellogg said. “Even a delivery truck just like the one you see here, depending on application, can give our customers 30-50% in fuel savings yearly.”


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