ORION, MI – Powers Distributing Co., a Michigan-based beer distributor, recently purchased 15 International DuraStar Hybrid medium-duty tractor trucks from C&S Motors in Flint, Mich., according to The Flint Journal.

The DuraStar Hybrid promises up to 25-40 percent better fuel mileage than the company's standard trucks.

A 255 hp, 660-lb.-ft. version of the inline six-cylinder engine International has been using for decades is combined with a 60-hp electric motor and an automated manual six-speed transmission.

Developed by Eaton, the system in the DuraStar does not shut off while on the road because it still has to power the air brakes, power steering, and other systems to meet government regulations. But it does allow the engine to idle for longer periods of times while the electric motor and battery motivate the truck. C&S sales representative Doug Morgan acknowledged that future hybrid systems for big trucks may be able to power those systems, allowing the engine to shut off like the consumer vehicle hybrids, reported The Flint Journal.

Allowing the operator to use secondary systems with the engine off, the hybrid systems enable vehicles to achieve up to 60 percent better fuel mileage.

Besides the benefits of increased fuel efficiency, the hybrid will also help reduce maintenance costs on its regenerative brakes and automated clutch.

Powers also started using biodiesel fuel instead of regular diesel last year.