Balance sheets may be colored red, but going green on the road is still all the rage. To further clamp down on CO2 emissions and fuel consumption, Honda has put a Peterbilt Model 386 Class 8 hybrid diesel-electric truck into its fleet, becoming the first company within its industry to use a Class 8 hybrid diesel-electric truck in its fleet. Honda's Class 8 truck fleet transports service parts between its parts centers and dealerships.

The hybrid Class 8 will be joining the current fleet at Honda's Alpharetta, Georgia parts center. The truck will be used along two routes during its initial evaluation period -- one hilly route in Tennessee, and one relatively flat route in Georgia. The evaluation period's purpose is to compare the hybrid truck's fuel economy with a standard diesel truck's fuel economy, and will also map overall truck performance.

The hybrid Peterbilt operates similarly to a hybrid passenger vehicle, using a parallel diesel-electric hybrid system developed by Eaton Corporation. Energy normally lost during braking is captured and stored in batteries, and a no-idle auxiliary power unit runs heating, air conditioning, and electrical systems while the engine is shut off.

The addition of the hybrid Class 8, which is also Smartway-certified, is expected to cut CO2 emissions by nearly 45 tons per year compared to a standard diesel truck. The current diesel truck fleet, which is operated by truck fleet partner UPS Freight Truckloads, typically travels 300,000 miles per day.

In keeping with the green theme, Honda will also be adding a Peterbilt Class 7 medium-duty hybrid truck to the Alpharetta center, along with their parts center in Irving, Texas.

Source: Business Wire