Eaton uses stimulus funds for hybrid vehicle deployment

Eaton Corporation announced its truck and electrical businesses 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 US Department of Energy under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

The company 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 deploying plug-in hybrid electric commercial vehicles in more than 50 utility and municipal fleets nationwide. Eaton will also provide infrastructure for the electrical charging of these vehicles.

Development and deployment of the plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV) and accompanying charging infrastructure will take place over 18 months. Vehicles will be evaluated over a two-year period.

Companies such as FedEx, UPS, Coca-Cola Enterprises, PepsiCo, and Wal-Mart are using delivery vehicles with Eaton hybrid systems. Work trucks with Eaton hybrid power are also in service at dozens of utility and telecom systems across North America, including Pepco, American Electric Power, Pacific Gas and Electric, Southern California Edison, and Florida Power and Light. Benefits of the existing Eaton system include fuel economy improvement ranging from 30% to 70%, with similar percentages in emission reductions, extended brake life, and idle time reductions of up to 87% during worksite operations.

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