We've witnessed repair trucks parked curbside idling away for hours spewing emissions while workers perform tasks. In fact, this apparent waste of fuel happens all too often, doesn't it? It's not that the workers are mistakenly leaving the trucks running, it's that the diesel engine provides power to the tools needed to perform repair tasks. So, is there any way to avoid running the engine for hours on end yet still accomplish the necessary work? You bet there is, and Eaton Corp., along with A123 Systems, may have the perfect solution.

Eaton Corp. takes the standard Ford F-550 Super Duty, pulls off a little magic and ta-da, a plug-in hybrid electric (PHEV) version emerges powered by A123 Systems. The PHEV system is specifically designed with repair trucks in mind, trucks that travel long distances, arrive in residential neighborhoods and then idle for hours. The plug-in hybrid conversion puts an end to the idling by providing utility workers with enough juice, courtesy of the battery pack, to perform typical work for up to six hours without the diesel engine's support. As with most plug-in hybrids, the converted F-550 has a limited all-electric range (estimated to be just ten miles). Even with that limited electric-only range, the reduced idling times help Eaton claim that the plug-in can lead to fuel savings of up to 63 percent over the standard F-550. A PHEV that can eliminate emissions and save companies thousands in fuel costs? Sounds like a win-win situation to us.

[Source: Green Car Advisor]

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