Navistar Offers Electric, Hybrid and Natural Gas Power, Hebe Notes

March 09, 2011

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Navistar International has "the broadest, most energy-efficient line of trucks in the industry, helping deliver real-world savings to the bottom line," declares Jim Hebe, senior vice president, North American sales operations, in a statement issued during NTEA's Work Truck Show in Indianapolis.

And he said as much during a press conference on Tuesday, pointing out the builder's "green" offerings displayed at the show:

* eStar battery electric walk-in van, produced in Indiana from American parts to a design by Modec of Great Britain;

* DuraStar hybrid, using Eaton Corp.'s electric-drive system and a MaxxForce-DT diesel; and

* WorkStar natural gas-fired vocational truck, with a DT-466 converted to NG form by Emissions Solutions Inc.

Natural gas is becoming a big deal at Navistar, Hebe said, because "we're fully convinced that natural gas will play a big part in transportation in America." So Navistar offers not just the NG-powered DT engine, but also large-bore MaxxForce 11 and 13 versions. Soon, there'll also be MF 9 and 10 models with NG conversions.

Thus all but Navistar's smaller MF 7 V-8 diesel will have natural gas versions. Navistar executives are still considering introducing a gasoline engine in the TerrsStar Class 4 and 5 truck, Hebe said, and if that's done, propane fuel might become an option.

T. Boone Pickens, who spent much of 2009 touting his vision of natural gas-powered heavy trucks all across America, must be smiling. Maybe Pickens twisted Hebe's arm on this one.

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