KNOXVILLE, TN – MHC Kenworth-Knoxville held an open house last Tuesday to show off a type of diesel/electric medium-duty truck it plans to stock, drawing a crowd of about 20-30 people representing several businesses and some local governments. The 2009 Kenworth T270 truck, which combines a 300-horsepower engine with a 340-volt battery pack, is targeted to local businesses that have stop-and-go deliveries and utility companies and others that might need a vehicle to idle for considerable periods of time, according to


The selling price of the truck is $40,000-$50,000. However, the 35-percent to 60-percent fuel savings the truck can provide will offset the cost to the owner, the company said. Plus, a $6,000-$12,000 federal tax credit is available for buying the hybrid vehicle.

The truck is designed to save fuel on short, within-town trips. During slow, stop-and-go traffic and when it is idling, the truck runs off of its battery, which is recharged through normal use of the truck’s braking system.

MHC will carry two models: the T270, a class 6 truck rated for 25,000 pounds, and the T370, a class 7 truck rated for 33,000 pounds. They will be available in different configurations, such as one for hauling freight and a bucket-and-boom truck aimed at utility companies.

Though the T270s and T370s are for local use, a long-haul version is planned.