ABI Research says hybrid retrofits may not always hold the solution to rising fuel prices for fleet owners, Environmental Protection reports.
While there are some new hybrid systems, such as idle-stop systems that can be retrofitted to some vehicles, the design of full hybrid powertrain systems usually does not allow them to be retrofitted to existing commercial vehicles.
And, while complete engines and transmissions can be replaced, the cost of parts and installation can make purchasing a new vehicle more cost effective.
“Fleet managers should beware of the hype and stick to cautious testing,” says David Alexander, ABI Research principal analyst.
UPS is expanding its U.S. Green Fleet from 50 hybrid electric trucks to 250 (the largest commercial order of such trucks by any company), and increasing its fleet of vehicles running on compressed natural gas from 800 to 1,100.