WASHINGTON - Navistar unveiled an all-electric commercial truck to members of Congress Sept. 30 as a preview of the 400 all-electric delivery trucks it intends to build next year, according to a company statement.

With the help of a $39 million U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) grant, Navistar will build the trucks at its facility in Elkhart County, Indiana. The manufacturer said it expects within a few years to be producing several thousand vehicles annually as the market grows, according to the statement.

The U.S. House of Representatives recently passed legislation allowing for a program of research, development, and commercial

application of clean vehicle technologies at DOE (H.R. 3246, Advanced Vehicle Technology Act of 2009). The bill now moves to the Senate for consideration.

The collaboration between Navistar and DOE demonstrates the importance of business and government working together to make energy efficient vehicles a reality, and the continued need for research and development of advanced commercial vehicle technologies.

"The all-electric commercial truck is a concrete example of advanced technology that will be swiftly brought to market with government incentives, just like diesel-hybrid trucks and school buses," said Greg Elliott, senior vice president, Navistar.

The all-electric vehicle would primarily be used by fleets in congested, urban, light-duty applications where stop-and-go driving typically consumes a large amount of fuel.