Score one for the little guys. Hybra-Drive Systems
, developers of a hybrid drivetrain for medium and light trucks that uses hydraulics instead of batteries and electric motors, has landed a nice chunk of change from the Michigan 21st Century Jobs Fund. The $3.4 million prize was the largest of 17 handed out and will help the company achieve some of its near-term goals. Earlier this year, they beat out a raft of competitors
for the opportunity to build three trucks for UPS, FedEx Ground and Purolator Courier. The delivery companies will conduct tests with the vehicles for up to 9 months. This cash award will now allow Hybra-Drive to hire engineers, machinists, and other essential staff to complete that task. (Hopefully they can also spare a bit of change for their website
too.) President and CEO of the firm, Richard Goldstein, is bullish on the company's prospects and expects that, "By the end of next year, we should have low-volume manufacturing available." We'll be watching.