POMONA, Calif. — President Barack Obama got a first-hand look at an “innovative” plug-in hybrid electric utility truck with a power system developed by Eaton Corporation and the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) earlier today. Obama was visiting the Electric Vehicle Technical Center of Southern California Edison to view an assortment of vehicles.
The plug-in hybrid truck is estimated to deliver fuel economy improvements of up to 70% compared to a conventionally powered truck. Eaton officials say they are in the early test phase of the plug-in system and are considering it as a future release for the company.
“Eaton is pleased to add plug-in hybrid power systems to our portfolio, in concert with EPRI and Southern California Edison at this important event attended by President Obama,” said James E. Sweetnam, president of Eaton Truck Group. “We salute Southern California Edison, a long-standing customer of ours, for its commitment to innovation and energy efficiency.”
Officials say the truck is designed not only to provide fuel and emissions savings while on the road, but also by using the electric side of the system to power the ancillary systems and tools when the truck is stopped at a work site. The entire system can be recharged by plugging it into a standard 120- or 240-volt electrical outlet. Once charged, the battery energy can be used to supplement engine power and also provide power to operate auxiliaries, such as the utility truck boom, Eaton said.
Last week, Eaton announced it has established a program to assist diesel truck fleet owners in applying for the $156 million in grants for diesel hybrid trucks that are available under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). Under the Environmental Protection Agency’s related Diesel Emission Reduction Act (DERA), funding is available through ARRA for up to 25% of the cost of a new hybrid truck. An existing diesel truck has to be taken out of service for each new hybrid truck that is purchased, officials said. Fleets and equipment eligible for the DERA funding include buses, medium- or heavy-duty trucks, marine engines and locomotives.
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