Hybrid haze

"Excuse me while I kiss the sky..." Excuse me but all the hybrid engine talk-- not to mention the actual trucks powered by hybrid engines that were on hand-- floating around the NTEA's Work Truck Show in Indy earlier this month, brought Jimi Hendrix's "Purple Haze" straight back to my brain.

The good news for trucking-- and the environment-- is hybrid trucks are here and more are coming. Many more. The bad news for truck fleet owners and managers is now you have to start walking, talking and dreaming hybrid. That is if you want to save fuel and be an environmental hero.

But first things first. Just in case you somehow thought a hybrid engine just replaces a gas or diesel one the way an automatic or automated transmission drops right in place of a manual, let me disavow you of that notion but fast.

Hybrids work. But they are not simple and, above all, one size does not fit all. There will be a steep learning curve for truck buyers to be sure. To get a taste of how far hybrids have come-- and an inkling of how much you have to learn-- check out this report that was part of our direct-from-the-show NTEA coverage: http://fleetowner.com/management/news/hybrids_steep_learning_curve/index.html