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Hybrid Trucks — Hype or Hope?

Posted April 21, 2009 8:35 AM

Panelists at the Green Truck Summit were debating how long it would take—if ever—for hybrid trucks to be economically viable. Do you see volume production, fuel prices, and the reduced maintenance possible ever allowing for a return on investment from a purely financial standpoint? Or are the environmental benefits worth any cost penalty. Will hybrid trucks ever become practical and profitable?

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#1

Re: Hybrid Trucks — Hype or Hope?

04/21/2009 9:38 AM

http://tinyurl.com/ceb3ba

Looking forward to seeing the numbers, but Denver is at about the 12 month point http://tinyurl.com/catqlr

"The truck is getting 25-percent better fuel economy than its non-hybrid counterparts," said Kuhn. "We anticipate an annual reduction in excess of 1,600 gallons of fuel compared to our non-hybrid fleet of similar vehicles."

Given that a garbage truck in Denver was getting 2.3 miles per gallon, a 25% increase results in only 2.875, but the real savings may be on the brakes.

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#2
In reply to #1

Re: Hybrid Trucks — Hype or Hope?

04/22/2009 1:15 PM

In a garbage truck, the payback time for hybridization can be quite short. @ $3 per gallon, a truck will save $9600 in two years, more than enough to pay for the system, according to the UPS EPA estimate of $7000 in full production.

In a Prius, the efficiency improvement percentage is about the same (for that part of the high efficiency which comes from hybridizing alone) and the additional cost (after filtering out the gee-gaws and doo-dads and climate control that comes with a Prius) is probably $2000. A 36 mpg Prius (non hybrid) would use 333 gallons per year (12,000 miles) whereas a 45 mpg Prius (hybrid) would use 266, for a dollar savings of $201 per year, making the payback about 10 years.

This leads to an interesting logic in with which one can make the case that manufacturers should be focusing on making hybrid SUVs so that we can save a lot of fuel, without giving up big vehicles. However, unlike a garbage truck in which the truck's mass serves a useful function, 95% of the time the mass of an SUV serves no useful function, and the typical load (1.1 occupants) would be better served in every sense by driving a Miata -- far more fun, half the fuel usage, half the manufacturing energy, half the resource depletion in construction materials, half the CO2 footprint, half the tire wear cost, half the purchase price, etc.

Tests show that SUVs are more likely (than smaller cars) to kill the occupants of small cars. I'd favor a heavy (pun intended) tax on SUVs to offset this societal burden. Higher taxes on gasoline would help too. Mike Jackson, the CEO of Auto Nation (the world's largest car dealership group) favors a revenue-neutral tax on gasoline that would set a floor at $4.00. This would do far more to encourage buyers to actually buy more efficient cars than legislating the 35 mpg standard, he thinks. He makes the case that the standard could put Detroit in a world of hurt if gas prices are low and they tooled up to buy small cars that nobody buys because there is not sufficient financial incentive for doing so.

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Anonymous Poster
#3

Re: Hybrid Trucks — Hype or Hope?

05/07/2009 1:12 PM

Has it worked for trains? They are diesel electric hybrids and they are still raising the dead at every road they cross with those horns. I think the railroads are a good industry to investigate and it is very similar to trucking.

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Anonymous Poster
#4

Re: Hybrid Trucks — Hype or Hope?

12/08/2009 4:32 AM

Hybrid Technology is one of the best technology develop now a days in automobile world & doing grate.

So Hybrid Trucks are Hope!!!!!!!!!

-------------------------

Used Dodge Trucks

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