NEW YORK. The first two of 17 new Kenworth T370 hybrid trucks were delivered to the New York City Parks & Recreation Dept. yesterday at their 22nd annual vehicle & equipment show. The 17 dump and rack trucks mark the first step in a complete conversion of the parks fleet to medium-duty hybrids, and fit with the city’s plans to green all of its fleet operations in what is the largest municipal fleet in the country, according to Keith Kerman, the Parks Dept. Asst. Commissioner for citywide operations.
With the displays ringing the iconic Unisphere from the 1964 World’s Fair in Flushing Meadows Park, the annual Parks Dept. equipment event is a showcase for new truck technology, attracting fleet managers from all over the New York metropolitan area. With N.Y.C. about to release a task force report on greening all of its various fleet operations, many of those departments were also on hand at the Unisphere with their own latest hybrid trucks, ranging from a CNG/hydraulic hybrid refuse collection truck to a Class 3 COE diesel-electric hybrid parts chaser. (See photo gallery)
Painted in a custom color to match the Parks Dept. official Forest Green, the KW hybrids will be tested for a year. “We’ll move to hybrid technology exclusively if the test is successful,” said Kerman. With New York’s Sanitation Dept. also investing heavily in hybrid trucks, “New York City is the second largest investor after Coca-Cola in this technology,” he added.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg has been a vocal supporter of hybrid and other low-emissions vehicles, and a call for a stepped-up transformation of all the city’s fleet operations is expected in the next few weeks with the release of a special task force report from the mayor’s office. With an annual operating budget of $650 million a year, New York’s combined fleet is the largest municipal operation in the country, said Kerman.
Complementing the medium-duty hybrids, the Parks Dept. is also moving its pickup fleet to clean diesels meeting the 2010 emissions requirements, Kerman said. It will take delivery of 55 2011 Ford Super Duty models with the new PowerStroke diesel engine later this year. “If they run successfully on B20 [biodiesel], we’ll convert our entire fleet of 400 pickups to clean diesel,” he told Fleet Owner. The Parks Dept. has been one of the earliest supports of biodiesel, moving entirely to B20 blends in recent years and even testing B50 in one location.
Not to be overshadowed by Parks, the Sanitation Dept. rolled out two of its green trucks for the Flushing Meadows equipment show – a Class 8 hybrid hydraulic collection truck that uses CNG to power its converted diesel engine, and a CNG powered Class 8 packer.
A Class 3 COE Hino hybrid prototype assigned to the Sanitation Dept. for parts delivery was also on display. A production version of the midrange hybrid will be introduced “in the near future” with an all-new cab, said Glenn Ellis, vp marketing & dealer operations. Next to the hybrid, Hino showed off its new 2011 conventional medium-duty truck. Powered by a 7.8L Hino diesel using SCR, “it is the only conventional medium-duty that meets 2010 [emissions requirements] without emissions credits,” Ellis said. Production of the 2011 medium-duty begins next week, with dealer deliveries scheduled to start in August, he said.
Although not part of the city municipal fleet operations, the Port Authority of N.Y & N.J. operates its own sizeable fleet to run the area’s major port facilities and airports, and it came to the Parks show off its newest hybrid truck – an International DuraStar diesel-electric. Fitted out as a mobile communications center, the Class 7 truck not only runs on hybrid power, but also includes two auxiliary power inverters that turn stored DC power from its lithium-ion batteries into 110V AC.