June 16, 2008

Eaton Testifies Before U.S. House On Fuel-Saving Hybrid Technology For Commercial Trucks

CLEVELAND … Diversified industrial manufacturer Eaton Corporation recently testified before the House Committee on Science and Technology's Subcommittee on Energy and the Environment on the considerable potential of fuel-saving hybrid power technologies for medium- and heavy-duty trucks and the need for government research funding to help make the United States a world leader in this field.

“The hybrid truck market is in its infancy, and the jury is still out as to which country will lead the world in developing the technology,” said Eric Smith, chief engineer for Eaton’s medium-duty hybrid-electric powertrains. “Investment in hybrid research and development will help reduce America’s dependence on foreign oil; help truck fleets, big and small, mitigate the cost of fuel; and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”

Rep. F. James Sensenbrenner, Jr. (R – WI) has drafted legislation to accelerate research of plug-in hybrid technology in trucks by creating grants for manufacturers to build, test, and ultimately sell plug-in hybrid utility and delivery trucks.

The June 10 hearing in Washington, D.C., provided the subcommittee with background on the range of hybrid technologies for commercial vehicles, the challenges of developing a plug-in hybrid, and the potential for energy savings and emissions reductions. In addition to Eaton, representatives of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Dueco Inc., Pacific Gas & Electric Company, and CALSTART Hybrid Truck Users Forum also testified.

While hybrid power systems in passenger cars have been available for many years, the truck market for hybrids is just getting started. Eaton estimates that as few as 10,000 hybrid-electric trucks could reduce diesel fuel usage by 7.2 million gallons per year (about 1 million barrels of oil), and reduce carbon dioxide emissions -- a component of greenhouse gases -- by 83,000 tons.

A hybrid vehicle is defined as one that has more than one source of power. In a hybrid electric vehicle (HEV), the engine is coupled with an electric motor or generator and batteries or other electrical storage devices. In a hybrid hydraulic vehicle (HHV), the engine is coupled with a hydraulic pump or motor and hydraulic accumulator to create the hybrid system. A plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV) can be plugged into the existing electrical grid to charge batteries for additional power.

Eaton is involved in all three technologies. The HEV and HHV systems are being tested and used worldwide by companies such as FedEx Express, UPS, Coca-Cola Enterprises and PepsiCo. Eaton is also working with members of the Hybrid Truck Users Forum, including Southern California Edison, Pacific Gas & Electric, and Florida Power and Light to develop a PHEV for use in utility truck applications. For more information on Eaton’s hybrid technologies, visit

Eaton Corporation is a diversified industrial manufacturer with 2007 sales of $13.0 billion. Eaton is a global leader in electrical systems and components for power quality, distribution and control; hydraulics components, systems and services for industrial and mobile equipment; hydraulics, fuel and pneumatic systems for commercial and military aircraft; intelligent truck drivetrain systems for safety and fuel economy; and automotive engine air management systems, powertrain solutions and specialty controls for performance, fuel economy and safety. Eaton has 79,000 employees and sells products to customers in more than 150 countries.

# # #

Hilary Spittle
(216) 523-5352