Mack Hybrids on Capitol Hill ~ Hybrid Car Review
Hybrid Car Review: Mack Hybrids on Capitol Hill

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Mack Hybrids on Capitol Hill

The Mack TerraPro Cabover was displayed on Capitol HIll as part of the "Hybrid on the Hill Day" organized by the Hybrid Truck Users Forum (HTUF) of CALSTART. The diesel-electric hybrid truck promises 30% fuel economy improvement in the stop-and-go environment of refuse collection.

The parallel hybrid engine is designed for Class 8 heavy-duty applications and meets the EPA'10 emission regulations.

"Our hybrid technology will be commercially viable, yet it will take time to establish a robust hybrid market for heavy vehicles that will enable us to invest in large scale production," said Dennis Slagle, Mack president and CEO. "Incentives will accelerate the adoption of Class 8 hybrids and bring forward the positive environmental changes."

Until the economies of scale are met, howver, the hybrid technology is only available right now at a 'very high premium' compared to non-hybrids. It won't be until the production volumes increase substantially, that the savings from fuel and reduced maintenance will allow for the technology to 'pay for itself.'

In the meantime Tom Kelly, Mack senior vice president, wants government to make up the difference to encourage the market to transition.

"Government incentives are necessary to establish a market for these vehicles with environmental benefits, similar to the incentives offered for hybrid passenger vehicles," said Kelly. "The public benefit of these incentives will be reduced environmental impact as hybrid heavy-duty trucks become more common."

In order to meet those goals, Kelly would like Congress to continue their efforts to encourage hybrid vehicles.

"For example, we’d like to see Congress extend the federal Alternative Motor Vehicle Credit, enacted by the Energy Policy Act of 2005, which expires at the end of 2009," Kelly said.

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