Freightliner, a truck division of Daimler, has teamed up with Eaton to introduce a world first in hybrid trucks.

Together they have developed a hybrid truck for the transport of hazardous materials.  The vehicle, a Freightliner Business Class M2e, will see its first use by a propane company called Pennington Gas Service.

The Freightliner hybrid system has been in use for awhile now, but its use by Pennington will be its first application for hazmat transports.

The hybrid powertrain was designed by Eaton and works as a parallel design that takes a regular truck and adds in regenerative braking and an electric drive system.  The system is unique in being able to allow the driver to pump propane out of the tanks using electric power only rather than idling the diesel engine to provide the pumping power.

Overall, the system is expected to reduce fuel use by 30% and the first truck in use is equipped with a real time tracking system to allow Pennington to monitor the vehicles performance over time.

Source:  Daimler Press Release

Daimler Trucks North America: First Use of a Hybrid Truck for Hazardous Material Transport

Together with Eaton Corp., Daimler Trucks North America has developed the first hybrid truck for use in hazardous material transport. The truck in question is a Freightliner Business Class M2e equipped with a hybrid electric drivetrain system. It was developed for Pennington Gas Service, which specializes in delivering propane gas primarily to customers in Michigan, Ohio, and Indiana. It marks the first time a Freightliner hybrid truck will be used for a hazardous material delivery application.

A longtime proponent of environmentally friendly transport solutions, company partner Keith Pennington became interested in the hybrid version of the Freightliner Business Class only recently, after test driving one last March at The Work Truck Show in Chicago. The vehicle's visibility, maneuverability, and comfort were some of the key features that caught Pennington's attention.

Pennington's new showcase truck is equipped with the Eaton parallel electric hybrid system, which enables the driver to operate the vehicle using the diesel engine alone, or in combination with the electric motor. The hybrid drive system also provides additional power to launch the truck, which substantially reduces fuel consumption. This is a key purchasing criterion in a sector with a high level of stop-and-go operations.

Pennington anticipates that the new vehicle will reduce fuel consumption and emissions by as much as 30 percent. "The ability to turn off the diesel engine and use the hybrid system while pumping propane to our customers is ideal," said Pennington. Not only does it make economical and environmental sense, a quiet, zero-emissions pumping operation is also a benefit for the customers and their neighborhoods.

To receive immediate feedback on how the hybrid system performs on the road, Daimler Trucks North America and Pennington Gas have partnered with Telogis, a leading provider of enterprise fleet tracking software.