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Global hybrid and plug-in truck sales will almost double this year as more companies and public entities turn to advanced powertrains to cut fuel costs, green-technology research firm Pike Research said.

As the global economy takes steps toward recovery, truck manufacturers are looking to technologies that can mitigate the rising cost of diesel fuel. Trucks that utilize electricity to meet this goal come in four flavors: hybrid electric, plug-in hybrid, pure battery electric, and plug-in electric power take-off to operate on-board equipment without using fuel.

Ford Fusion Hybrid – Click above for high-res image gallery

A recent study conducted by Pike Research found that hybrid powertrains will find a home in some 300,000 medium- (MD) and heavy-duty (HD) trucks and buses by 2015. The study also finds that while North America currently leads the world in usage of hybrid trucks, Asia is expected to take the lead as early as next year and will probably never look back. Here are some of the study's highlights (some very specific):

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