Aftermarket

Freightliner Builds M2 Hybrid Truck For Propane Hauler

May 12, 2009

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Freightliner Trucks has built a delivery truck for a Midwest propane distributor using Eaton Corporation's diesel-electric hybrid drive system. It is the first application of the parallel electric hybrid system to a hazardous material delivery application, Freightliner claimed.


The customer, Pennington Gas Service, delivers propane to mostly residential customers in 43 counties in Michigan, Ohio and Indiana. A longtime proponent of environmentally-friendly approaches to business, company partner Keith Pennington became interested in the Freightliner Business Class M2e Hybrid after test driving one earlier this year at the National Truck Equipment Association's Work Truck Show in Chicago.

"I'd never seen a hybrid truck like this for the propane industry, and it was evident that Freightliner was leading the charge in pursuing this technology. So, I decided to find out more," said Pennington. "The ability to turn off the diesel engine and use the hybrid system while pumping propane to our customers is ideal. Not only does it make economical and environmental sense, but a quiet, zero emissions pumping operation is safer for the residential neighborhoods where we do the majority of our business."

The Eaton parallel electric hybrid system runs the truck using the diesel engine, the hybrid electric motor, or both. The motor provides additional launching power to reduce the load on the diesel and cut fuel use and exhaust fumes in stop-and-go operations. Pennington anticipates up to 30% in reduction in fuel use and emissions. He said he also liked the M2e Hybrid's visibility, maneuverability and comfort.

To receive instantaneous feedback on how the hybrid system is faring while on the road, Pennington Gas and Freightliner Trucks have partnered with Telogis, a leading provider of enterprise fleet tracking software.

"Pennington's proposal for a hybrid hazmat delivery truck was certainly a challenge, but after tapping our engineers and partners such as Eaton Corp. and Signature Truck Systems, we knew that we could make it happen," said David Bryant, vocational sales manager, hybrids, for Freightliner Trucks.

Founded in 1953, Pennington Gas Service, headquartered in Morenci, Mich., is one of the region's largest and fastest growing independent propane companies. More information is at www.penningtongas.com. Information on M2 hybrids and other medium and heavy duty trucks is available from Freightliner dealers or at www.FreightlinerTrucks.com.

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