New Heavy-Duty Hybrids Introduced to Utility Fleet

Philadelphia-based electric and natural gas utility PECO has deployed 22 new Terex XT55 hybrid bucket trucks featuring Odyne's plug-in hybrid power system, which allows utility workers to operate a truck's auxiliary equipment without engine power.

PECO's alternative fuel fleet, which includes biodiesel, electric and natural gas vehicles, now numbers nearly 800.

While driving, the trucks' hybrid electric motors provide launch assist and regenerative braking, which improves fuel efficiency and also recharges the battery. By using an electric motor and battery, which reduces engine idle time, the new trucks reduce fleet operating and maintenance costs. Also, depending on duty cycle, the powertrain enables heavy-duty trucks to obtain fuel economy improvements of up to 50% compared to traditional diesel or gasoline engines.

The vehicles are part of a $45.4 million U.S. Department of Energy, Electric Power Research Institute and South Coast Air Quality Management District of California initiative to develop and deploy plug-in hybrid systems for almost 300 trucks for companies and governmental entities throughout North America.

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