Newspaper article The Observer (Gladstone, Australia)

Fleets Move to Hybrid for Emission Cuts in Overdrive

Newspaper article The Observer (Gladstone, Australia)

Fleets Move to Hybrid for Emission Cuts in Overdrive

Article excerpt

TRUCKS have long been seen as the great polluters on our roads but in the past decade the industry has made big strides in reducing vehicle emissions.

Some manufacturers are even developing zero-emission trucks, while hybrid and compressed natural gas-powered trucks are making their presence felt in the local market.

Unfortunately, two things hamper the acceptance of alternative-fuel trucks: price and infrastructure.

Hybrid trucks can cost as much as $7000 to $10,000 more than a non-hybrid model and that price premium takes some time and effort to recoup.

As for CNG, the infrastructure for refilling stations is so poor it's a wonder anyone bothers.

At last count there were four CNG refuelling stations in Australia: one each in Goulburn, Sydney and Canberra and one in Melbourne owned by a private company, OES CNG, which reportedly plans to open five more retail outlets in Victoria this year.

The two main players in hybrid technology are Japanese manufacturers Mitsubishi Fuso and Hino, the latter a subsidiary of Toyota, the world leader in hybrid-powered passenger cars.

In Australia, Fuso offers both a conventional diesel-powered Canter and a hybrid version it introduced last year.

National parcel carrier Star Track Express has bought 25 hybrid Canters, while rival Hino has delivered 30 of its hybrid trucks to international freight company TNT.

However, Fuso is stealing a march on its competitors with other alternative-power trucks.

The company's big-selling Canter light-duty truck is available Co depending on where in the world you live Co with either diesel, hybrid or EEV drivetrains.

EEVs, or enhanced environmentally friendly vehicles, offer emissions standards exceeding current Euro 5 standards. In short, manufacturers offering EEV have gone the extra distance to make their trucks cleaner than regulatory authorities require. …

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