Price Makes Hybrid Trucks A Hard Sell

While consumers may decide what car to buy based on emotions, truck fleet operators think strictly in terms of total cost of ownership.

Published: 12-Nov-2007

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - 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.

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