Navistar says the increasing popularity of hybrid vehicles has helped the company become the first original equipment manufacturer (OEM) to accumulate more than 5 million real-world miles in the hands of customers driving hybrid International trucks and IC Bus brand school and commercial buses.
“The continued success of these trucks on the road demonstrates not only the reliability of hybrid technology, but also the potential for significant fuel savings and emissions improvement within real-world applications,” said George Survant, director of fleet services for Florida Power and Light and chairperson of the Hybrid Truck Users Forum (HTUF) Working Group.
In November 2007, Navistar launched the Class 6 medium-duty International DuraStar Hybrid, becoming the first OEM to enter assembly-line production of hybrid commercial trucks.
Building on the success of that platform, Navistar expanded its hybrid product portfolio in October 2008 with the Class 7 International DuraStar Hybrid Tractor, targeting general freight haulers and food/beverage distributors with diminishing loads. This past March, Navistar introduced the Class 7 severe service International WorkStar Hybrid 4x4, the industry’s first hybrid four-wheel-drive commercial truck.
Depending on the specific application and other conditions, International hybrid trucks can deliver up to 40 percent fuel savings in stop-and-go driving and pick-up/delivery operations. Beyond the fuel savings potential, the hybrid trucks produce zero emissions when auxiliary equipment (like an overhead utility bucket) operates solely on the truck’s hybrid battery power.
Two weeks ago, President Barack Obama traveled to Navistar’s Wakarusa, Ind., manufacturing facility to celebrate the award of a $39 million federal grant to develop and build all-electric delivery vehicles. Through this U.S. Department of Energy grant, Navistar plans to build 400 all-electric vehicles in 2010 and expects to be producing several thousand vehicles annually within a couple of years. This zero emissions all-electric delivery vehicle would primarily be used by drivers for local deliveries where stop- and-go driving would otherwise consume a large amount of fuel.
In addition to its line-up of hybrid trucks and the potential for all-electric delivery trucks, Navistar affiliate, IC Bus, offers a comprehensive portfolio of hybrid-electric school and commercial buses. In February 2007, IC Bus was first to enter assembly-line production of hybrid buses. IC Bus offers a battery-powered hybrid electric system similar to that used in commercial trucks. In addition, through its supplier partnership with Enova Systems, a leading provider in hybrid drive systems, IC Bus is the first and only manufacturer of a factory-built plug-in electric hybrid vehicle. An IC Bus hybrid school bus can deliver fuel savings of up to 65 percent and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by nearly 40 percent.