Paccar has targeted an ambitious goal of 30 percent improvement in vehicle fuel efficiency for selected medium-duty applications over the next seven years utilizing hybrid technology as a key contributor to achieving this objective, according to Mark C. Pigott, Paccar chairman and chief executive officer.

"Paccar's comprehensive global hybrid program is aimed at commercializing energy management systems that provide benefits to both our customers and the environment."

Hybrid power systems consist of an electric motor generator and onboard energy storage system. Power from the engine is used to drive the vehicle directly or to charge the storage device. Hybrid power systems provide maximum fuel savings in applications where frequent braking and acceleration is required, such as local delivery and vocational applications. Customers also benefit from lower maintenance costs due to reduced wear on the braking system.

"Availability of hybrid-powered Paccar trucks is targeted for 2008 in defined medium-duty applications," said Jim Cardillo, Paccar senior vice president. Paccar design engineers are working with Eaton's Hybrid Power Systems business unit to advance the company's hybrid leadership position. "We're thrilled to be a part of Paccar's pioneering efforts in developing hybrid power systems, and we look forward to delivering hybrid vehicles in selected applications in 2008," added Jim Sweetnam, senior vice president and president of Eaton's Truck Group.

In over-the-road applications, hybrid power systems store energy to be used while the vehicles are stationery. "Paccar's innovative onboard energy management systems will reduce vehicle idling time to further enhance operating efficiency and contribute to achieving customers' fuel economy objectives," said Tom Plimpton, Paccar president.

"The Kenworth Clean Power and Peterbilt Comfort Class systems are scheduled for release in 2007 and maintain the vehicle's cabin temperatures at comfortable levels and provide power to operate other cab electrical systems without running the engine. Based on the national average of 1,850 idling hours per year for an over-the-road Class 8 vehicle, the system provides the potential for an 8 percent improvement in fuel efficiency, worth several thousand dollars per vehicle each year."