American Honda Motor Co. has become the first company in its industry to incorporate a Class 8 hybrid-diesel electric truck into its fleet. Based at a parts center in Alpharetta, GA, the Peterbilt Model 386 hybrid is expected to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by almost 45 tons/yr. as compared to its diesel counterpart, Honda says.
The company's diesel truck fleet, operated by its truck fleet partner UPS Freight Truckload, typically travels 300,000 mi. per day transporting parts between distribution centers and dealerships. The truck will operate along two routes: a hilly terrain in Tennessee and a relatively flat stretch in Georgia. Honda will alternate the hybrid with a standard diesel truck and collect data using engine telematics to compare the performance of each truck on the same routes. Testing and evaluation will take place over the next year.
“We're excited to add this environmentally advanced truck to our fleet,” says Jim Roach, senior vp of parts and service for American Honda. “With our truck fleet driving hundreds of thousands of miles per day, we feel this is a great opportunity for Honda to further reduce its carbon footprint.”
The truck utilizes a parallel diesel-electric hybrid system developed by Eaton Corp. and stores energy during braking to use for powering the vehicle. A no-idle auxiliary unit will be used to power the heating, air conditioning and electrical systems when the engine is off.
Honda is also planning to add a Peterbilt Class 7 medium-duty hybrid at a parts center in Irving, TX, in the near future.