When people think of a hybrid vehicle, they usually envision a small gas-sipping passenger car, not a 33,000-pound medium-duty work truck. That mindset is about to change, now that the City of Chicago has added its first hybrid work truck to its fleet -- the International DuraStar Hybrid.
As part of this week’s Green Truck Summit, held in conjunction with the 45th Annual National Truck Equipment Association (NTEA) Convention and The Work Truck Show, representatives from Navistar officially presented the keys to an International DuraStar Hybrid to Howard Henneman, the City of Chicago's Commissioner of Fleet Management.
“We’re excited to partner with the City of Chicago in its ongoing efforts to become the most environmentally friendly city in the world,” said Steve Guillaume, Navistar general manager, vocational trucks. “Chicago recognizes the importance of a green truck fleet and the International DuraStar Hybrid will play a critical role in saving fuel and reducing emissions.”
While the International DuraStar Hybrid diesel-electric hybrid truck looks like an ordinary work truck, it delivers dramatic fuel savings of more than 60 percent in utility-type applications, when the engine often can be shut off and electric power still operates the vehicle. Beyond the fuel savings potential, the DuraStar Hybrid produces zero emissions when auxiliary equipment (like an overhead utility bucket) operates solely on the truck’s battery power.
“We are pleased to be the first municipality in the region to utilize this new technology,” said Howard Henneman, the City of Chicago's Commissioner of Fleet Management. “We expect that this technology will be an important part of our environmental efforts moving forward.”
The International DuraStar Hybrid uses a mild parallel-type, diesel-electric hybrid architecture, developed by Eaton Corporation, which leads to less diesel fuel use and fewer emissions. The hybrid-electric system utilizes a regenerative braking system to recover energy normally lost during braking, stores the energy in batteries and adds power back into the driveline during starts and acceleration.
This capability makes the truck more efficient in standard driving, particularly in city and stop-and-go driving. When the truck reaches a work site, the hybrid system can power booms, aerial devices and other tools needed at the location for up to 90 minutes without the engine running, significantly reducing noise, emissions and fuel costs.