Bexar County Taps New Kenworth Hybrids

June 24, 2009

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Bexar County, Texas, added three new Kenworth T370 diesel-electric hybrids, which will be housed at county service centers.
The purchase is part of a larger county initiative to reduce emissions.

"In 2007, Bexar County adopted an energy policy with the primary goals to reduce and conserve energy and promote environmental responsibility throughout the county," said Tony Vasquez, county drainage manager. "The policy also promoted the purchase of alternative fuel vehicles to help reduce emissions. In addition, these Kenworth hybrid vehicles will help launch the County's Greenhouse Gas Reduction Initiative to become carbon-neutral. The county already operates hybrid and flex-fuel vehicles, and now is the right time to move hybrid technology to our heavy truck fleet."

The idea to integrate the trucks came up a few years ago, when Vasquez read an article about the Kenworth hybrid trucks.

"When fuel prices began to rise, the timing was right," said Vasquez. "With support from key county officials, we placed an order. We estimate that the new hybrids will enhance fuel efficiency by 30 to 40 percent, and contribute to our continuing mission of being a good environmental steward with a comparable reduction in emissions."

The county's trucks will be used as 6-yard dump trucks, picking up and delivering loads of dirt and aggregate throughout the county. The trucks are equipped with the aftermarket crew cab conversion option, available through Kenworth's partnership with Bentz Transport Products. The hybrids are also built with a pintle hitch, so trailers can be towed to haul service units, such as skid steers, small rollers and shredders.

"We expect heavy use for these Kenworth hybrids with each traveling up to 20,000 miles annually," said Vasquez. "We operate in about half rural and half urban areas with a lot of stop-and-go driving. That's where the hybrid technology will really come into play."

The Kenworth T370 hybrid runs on the Paccar PX-6 engine with 260 horsepower and 620 pounds-feet of torque and the Eaton diesel-electric hybrid system. Its 161-inch BBC crew cab with one-piece fiberglass roof with four-inch raised rear section allows for up to 62 inches of interior height. The remaining crew cab adds 52 inches of length and is 85 inches wide at the rear. Kenworth's Slate Gray vinyl interior trim is standard.

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