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Hybrids continue to get rave reviews from municipalities

SEATTLE, Wash. -- King County officials in Washington state have reported their medium-duty Kenworth hybrid utility...


This medium-duty hybrid allows King County to idle less and spend more time at job sites and less time at the fuel island.
This medium-duty hybrid allows King County to idle less and spend more time at job sites and less time at the fuel island.

SEATTLE, Wash. — King County officials in Washington state have reported their medium-duty Kenworth hybrid utility truck is living up to expectations under real-world operations.

“King County has taken a leadership role in adopting new technologies that can reduce fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions,” said Harold Taniguchi, director of the King County Department of Transportation. “We’re pleased that the county’s new Kenworth medium-duty hybrid is exceeding our expectations in fuel economy, performance and driver acceptance.”

King County is located in the metro Seattle area. The county was the first government agency to order a Kenworth hybrid truck, a Class 7 that’s used to maintain traffic signals. The truck is fitted with a 50-foot boom and a utility bucket. The lift operates off electric power, so the truck doesn’t have to idle while workers are maintaining the traffic signals.

“We’ve logged a little over 5,000 miles as of the first of this year and the Kenworth hybrid has already achieved a 25% reduction in fuel consumption over a comparably equipped conventional model,” said King County Fleet Administration Division director Windell Mitchell, who expects to attain a 30% or more improvement in fuel economy as the truck is further broken in.

The municipality is also realizing improved efficiencies. They have to fuel up less regularly, resulting in more time spent working in the field.

“Employees can travel farther and get a lot more work done without having to make return trips to the county’s fueling station or purchase higher priced fuel at a retail location,” said Mitchell.

Kenworth will begin full-scale production of its medium-duty hybrid later this year.


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