SPRINGFIELD, OHIO – American Electric Power (AEP), one of the largest electric utilities in the United States, is expanding its green efforts to include more hybrid trucks. AEP has ordered its largest number of hybrid trucks to date — 18 International DuraStar Hybrid diesel hybrid trucks. The addition of 18 International DuraStar Hybrids will bring the total number of hybrid utility trucks in AEP’s fleet to 22 — giving AEP the largest fleet of diesel hybrid utility trucks in the country.
International DuraStar Hybrid trucks have the proven capability to provide dramatic fuel savings of nearly 60 percent in utility-type applications when the engine can be shut off, but electric power still operates the vehicle. Diesel emissions are completely eliminated when the hybrid truck operates equipment (like overhead utility booms) solely on the truck’s battery power, instead of requiring the engine to run.
“AEP has experienced great results from our first four International hybrid trucks,” said Helen Murray, president and chief operating officer for Indiana Michigan Power (I&M), an operating company subsidiary of AEP. “We are proud to expand our use of hybrid trucks. It’s a good business decision, and the right thing to do for the environment.”
The additional 18 hybrid units are expected to be delivered this summer, of which 13 will operate in Indiana Michigan Power’s fleet. AEP has nearly 1,500 International trucks in its fleet.
International DuraStar Hybrid trucks employ a parallel-type, diesel-electric hybrid architecture that is supplied by Eaton Corporation. It incorporates an electric motor/generator between the output of an automated clutch and input of the automated transmission. The system recovers energy normally lost during braking and stores the energy in batteries. The hybrid-electric system recovers energy during braking, and can add power back into the driveline during start and acceleration.
This capability makes the truck more efficient in standard driving, particularly in city and stop-and-go driving. When the truck reaches a work site, the hybrid system can power the hydraulic pump that operates the aerial device and the tools for up to two hours without the engine running. It is this ability to shut the engine down at work sites that helps the truck cut fuel use so significantly. The engine-off option during worksite operations further reduces noise, emissions, and fuel costs.