Hybrid Trucks and highly efficient vehicles have always interested me. As part of my carpentry business I drive a Chevy 2500 pick up for many reasons; including hauling, towing a tool trailer and snowplowing. Fuel economy is not one of them and has never been a variable that I could control.
Recently GMC came out with commercial hybrid trucks. According to GMC:
The 2009 GMC Sierra 1500 Hybrid pickup truck, available in two- and four-wheel-drive models, features patented hybrid technology to optimize fuel economy.
The advanced 300-volt nickel-metal hydride Energy Storage System allows the pickup to operate up to 30 miles per hour in electric-only mode. And GM’s innovative two-mode hybrid transmission adds extra power via two electric motors.
This gives Sierra Hybrid best-in-class fuel economy and a 40% improvement in city fuel economy when compared to non-hybrid models. Plus, the powerful 6.0L V8 engine delivers the towing, hauling and tailoring capabilities truck fans expect in a full-size GMC pickup.
An oil company in Vermont, Bourne’s Energy, recently started using hybrid technology by employing two of these trucks to deliver propane to their customers.
It’s a hybrid; running on batteries and as a backup bio-fuel. While hybrid technology is not new, it is new to fuel delivery where special modifications had to be made to make it safe. Bourne’s Energy became the first fuel company in the Northeast to use these trucks.
Bourne heard about the trucks in a trade magazine and decided to try it. In addition to better mileage on the road, it saves fuel and emissions because there is less idling.
The trucks can pump fuel for six minutes on battery power before the engine turns on to recharge the batteries.
Bourne estimates that between the two trucks he’ll save about $5,000 a year in fuel costs– not that much off the bottom line– but he says when you take into account what it does for the environment, it does add up.