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Hybrid Car Schematic

High price means a hard sell for hybrid trucks

BALTIMORE, MD - January 15, 2007 - The Pete Store, Inc. (www.thepetestore.com) announces the delivery of the industry’s first Class 8 hybrid truck to Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. The Peterbilt Model 386 Hybrid is the first of its kind and will be an addition to Wal-Mart’s fleet of over 230 Peterbilts they currently have in service.

"The implementation of Hybrid trucks is an encouraging step towards environmental sustainability and the reduction of emissions throughout the industry," says John Arscott, President of The Pete Store, Inc. "Wal-Mart is proving to be a leader in this arena, and The Pete Store is pleased to play a part in such a landmark event within the transportation industry."

The 386 Hybrid truck is part of a comprehensive commitment by Wal-Mart called "Sustainability 360" which promotes innovations to increase environmental conscientiousness throughout their organization, including vendors and customers.

Wal-Mart has demonstrated a commitment to becoming a leader in the transportation industry by setting a goal of improving overall fleet efficiency by 25 percent. Hybrid Peterbilt TruckWal-Mart’s Senior Vice President of Transportation, Tim Yatsko, commented on their commitment to environmental innovation: "Wal-Mart is careful to consider the civic and environmental impact its operations have in the communities it serves around the world. We are continually looking for new, innovative ways to improve the fuel economy and reduce the emissions of our fleet. We currently operate the Peterbilt Model 386, and we anticipate that the hybrid version will help us move toward our goal to increase our fleet efficiency by 25 percent over the next few years."

The Hybrid technology utilized on this truck is designed by Eaton Corporation. The system (called Eaton Hybrid Power System) retains energy generated by the engine, which would normally be lost during braking, and stores it in batteries for later use. That electricity is then sent through the motor/generator and blended with engine torque to improve vehicle performance, operate the engine in a more fuel-efficient range for a given speed and/or operate only with electric power in certain situations. This innovative process has been shown to increase driving efficiency by 5-7 percent. The system’s batteries even power the heating, air conditioning, and electrical system when the engine is turned off. The improved miles per gallon, combined with the reduction of idle time, could result in approximately $9,000 in annual fuel savings based on an average cost of $2.50 per gallon.

The Peterbilt Model 386 is viewed as a premier aerodynamic tractor in the industry due to its exceptional efficiency, while maintaining superior resale value and low operating costs. It is an ideal truck for such an application. Peterbilt and Wal-Mart continue to work together to improve the aerodynamic efficiency of the Model 386 hybrid truck.

High price means a hard sell for hybrid trucks

City buses, refuse trucks and delivery vans are perfect candidates for hybrid powertrains, which use less energy and cause less pollution than conventional combustion engines, especially in stop-and-go traffic.

But while image-conscious drivers, especially in the United States, have embraced hybrid cars, truck operators find the new technology too expensive compared with the potential fuel savings -- and hybrid diesel-electric trucks are struggling to catch on.

Hybrid trucks operate along the same principle as their smaller hybrid cousins in the car industry, reclaiming kinetic energy when the vehicle brakes, transforming it into electric energy and storing it for later use.

When driving in urban environments with stop-and-go traffic or on a construction site where there is repeated acceleration and braking, manufacturers estimate hybrid trucks can save anywhere from 20 to 35 percent in fuel.

The Saturn Vue Hybrid puts in a respectable first showing for General Motors at 23 city, 29 highway. With GMs history with the EV1 electric, we expect a whole lot more in a short amount of time. The American consumer will not wait for the General to play catch up.

More than two years later, the SUV hybrid category is starting to get crowded. The Lexus Rx400h and Toyota Highlander Hybrid—essentially the same hybrid system in two different skins—have stolen the Escape’s thunder. The Escape lacks the luxury features of the Rx400h, and lacks the power and seating capacity of the Highlander Hybrid.

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