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SOUTHFIELD, Mich. ... U.S. Representative Sander Levin today previewed innovative commercial vehicle hybrid power systems developed by diversified industrial manufacturer Eaton Corporation at the company’s Michigan Innovation Center in Southfield. In addition, Rep. Levin highlighted the importance of legislation to extend the heavy duty hybrid tax credit for five years and double the credit amounts.
“We appreciate Representative Levin's leadership in Congress of the emerging heavy duty hybrid truck industry,” said Dimitri Kazarinoff, Eaton vice president and general manager, hybrid power systems. “The Heavy Duty Hybrid Tax Credit Extension bill is an excellent example of how government, industry and the nation’s commercial vehicle owners can collaborate toward a greener and more fuel-efficient fleet. Working together, we can use this incentive to make hybrid power for commercial vehicles more affordable and speed its adoption.”
The proposed legislation would cover between 20 and 50 percent of the incremental cost of heavy duty hybrid systems, supporting faster commercialization of these energy-saving technologies. According to the Hybrid Truck Users Forum, incentives at these levels are expected to increase U.S. heavy and medium duty hybrid industry sales to 10,000 by 2014, up from today’s industry volume of less than 2,000.
“Eaton’s Innovation Center is a vivid example of the importance of the auto industry in maintaining the United States’ advanced technology capabilities,” said Rep. Levin. “The fuel savings achieved by increasing the efficiency of medium and heavy duty vehicles are tremendous. Simply putting as few as 10,000 hybrid electric trucks on the road would reduce diesel fuel use by 7.2 million gallons per year and reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 83,000 tons. We need to spark the market for this new technology to get more of these trucks on the road faster, which will reduce emissions, reduce our dependence on foreign oil and help maintain our economic competitiveness.”
Engineers in Eaton’s Michigan Innovation Center helped to develop the company’s industry-leading range of hybrid technologies on display today. These include hybrid electric, plug-in hybrid electric, and two hybrid hydraulic power systems. Eaton is the only manufacturer to offer the full range of hybrid systems for truck and bus applications, accumulating nearly 20 million miles in road-tested service around the world. Eaton’s hybrid systems are available on truck models from International, Peterbilt, Kenworth and Freightliner.
Companies such as FedEx, UPS, Coca-Cola, Pepsi and Wal-Mart are using delivery vehicles with the Eaton system. Work trucks with Eaton hybrid power are also in service at dozens of utility and telecom companies across North America. Benefits of the existing Eaton hybrid systems include fuel economy improvement ranging from 30 to 70 percent, with similar percentages in emission reductions, extended brake life and idle time reductions of up to 87 percent during work site operations.
Last week Eaton announced that it will support a $45.4 million grant to produce plug-in hybrid electric power systems for 378 vehicles, the nation’s largest commercial hybrid deployment to date. The funding is part of the recently announced $2.4 billion in grants by the U.S. Department of Energy under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
Eaton will work with grant recipient South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) and other affiliates, including the Electrical Power Research Institute (EPRI), Altec Industries, Compact Power Inc., Ford Motor Company and Southern California Edison, in the deployment of plug-in hybrid electric commercial vehicles to more than 50 utility and municipal fleets nationwide. Eaton will also provide infrastructure for the electrical charging of these vehicles.
Eaton Corporation is a diversified power management company with 2008 sales of $15.4 billion. Eaton is a global technology leader in electrical components and systems for power quality, distribution and control; hydraulics components, systems and services for industrial and mobile equipment; aerospace fuel, hydraulics and pneumatic systems for commercial and military use; and truck and automotive drivetrain and powertrain systems for performance, fuel economy and safety. Eaton has approximately 70,000 employees and sells products to customers in more than 150 countries.