International starts hybrid production

Published November, 30 2007

International Truck and Engine announced Nov. 9 that it has begun line production of hybrid commercial trucks in the form of the DuraStar Hybrid, a diesel-electric medium-duty truck that offers improved fuel efficiency and reduced emissions.

“We believe that hybrid technology is an important development for the commercial transportation sector,” said Daniel C. Ustian, president and chief executive officer of Navistar International, based in Warrenville, Ill.

The DuraStar Hybrid’s fuel savings can reach 30 to 40 percent in urban pickup-and-delivery applications and 60 percent or more in utility applications, where equipment such as overhead booms can be run solely on the truck’s battery power without idling, the company said.

“In our continued quest to be the first to market with new truck technologies, we are taking the next major step in bringing a medium-duty diesel hybrid-electric vehicle into the marketplace,” said Dee Kapur, International’s truck group president.

In 2006, International delivered 24 developmental hybrid units to 14 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, International’s director of sales and distribution of new products.

International developed the truck in partnership with the Hybrid Truck Users Forum, which includes utility companies, Eaton Corp., Weststart-CALSTART and the federal government. “This was necessary to assist us with the cost of bringing this new technology to market,” Williams said. “It also has given us the direct customer feedback and support that is required to make the program a success. The prototype phase is done. International is now building hybrid trucks.”

The Hybrid Truck Users Forum estimates that each hybrid utility truck can save 1,000 gallons of diesel fuel annually.

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