KALAMAZOO, MI. Eaton announced here today that its medium-duty hybrid power systems are now commercially available and will be ready for customer deliveries in 2008 on the chassis of these OEMs: International Truck and Engine Corp., Kenworth Truck Co., Peterbilt Motors and Freightliner Corp.
“Eaton formed this business unit almost seven years ago to provide a cleaner and more fuel-efficient future for the world’s commercial vehicle fleet,” said James E. Sweetnam, Eaton senior vp & president – Truck Group. “Now, we’re poised to fulfill that goal with the help of our forward-looking OEM and fleet partners that share our vision.”
According to Eaton, the announcement follows more than four years of development and two-million miles of successful field-testing in North America, Europe and Asia. The company said more than 220 hybrid-powered vehicles using Eaton systems have been produced to date for testing and evaluation. Applications have included package delivery vans, medium-duty delivery trucks, beverage haulers, city buses and utility repair trucks – with each generating “significant fuel economy gains and emission reductions.”
Kevin Beaty, manager of Eaton’s Hybrid Power Systems business unit, said the company plans to produce several hundred systems in 2007. He said Eaton is planning to ramp up production capacity over the next three years to meet customer demand and achieve economies of scale.
“Financial incentives at the local, state and national level will help encourage early adoption,” said Beaty. “Meanwhile, increased production volumes will help drive down the per-unit cost of the systems and empower the industry to offer a compelling value proposition that is sustainable.”
Beaty added that Eaton is looking forward to significant government-related purchases of hybrid-powered trucks for its fleet operations, noting that many of these same government agencies are also offering the purchase incentives. “We hope to see hybrid power encouraged and mandated in ways similar to what is being done today for alternative fuel vehicles,” said Beaty.