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International becomes first company to enter hybrid commercial truck production

WARRENVILLE, Ill. -- International has become the first company to enter line production of hybrid commercial truck...

The new International DuraStar hybrid.
The new International DuraStar hybrid.

WARRENVILLE, Ill. — International has become the first company to enter line production of hybrid commercial trucks. The company is now producing the International DuraStar Hybrid, a diesel hybrid electric medium-duty truck designed to provide customers with improved fuel efficiency and reduced engine emissions.

We believe that hybrid technology is an important development for the commercial transportation sector, said Daniel C. Ustian, president and CEO of Navistar, parent company to International. Increasing fuel efficiency and reducing emissions for the nations commercial trucks results in significant benefits for all of us. We strive to be the leader in developing energy efficient transportation solutions in the commercial truck, commercial bus and school bus industries.

Officials say the DuraStar has been proven to provide dramatic fuel savings of about 30-40% on a standard in-city pickup and delivery application, and 60% in utility-type applications when the engine can be shut off, but electric power still operates the vehicle. Diesel emissions are completely eliminated when the hybrid truck operates equipment (like overhead utility booms) solely on the trucks battery power, instead of allowing the engine to idle, the company says.

In 2006, International built and delivered 24 developmental hybrid units to 14 major utility companies across North America. These units are now successfully operating giving us confidence in the quality and reliability of our new hybrid electric product, said Jim Williams, director of sales and distribution, new products.

The Hybrid Truck Users Forum estimates that nearly 1,000 gallons of fuel can be saved annually on utility trucks.

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