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Largest U.S. Commercial Plug-in Hybrid Deal Struck

eaton-obamaA $45.4 million grant will help produce plug-in hybrid electric systems for 378 commercial vehicles, the nation’s largest such deployment of hybrids to date, according to a press release.

On a per-vehicle basis, the grant amounts to a $120,105 subsidy.

The commercial vehicles will be deployed to more than 50 utility and municipal fleets nationwide. The grant went to South Coast Air Quality Management District, which will work to implement the vehicles with other companies, including the Electrical Power Research Institute (EPRI), Altec Industries, Compact Power Inc., Ford Motor Company and Southern California Edison.

Eaton Corp. will be involved in adding the hybrid systems to trucks, as well as infrastructure for electrical charging of the vehicles.

Utility trucks under the program, based on the Ford F550 chassis, will have a range of at least 300 miles. The program should improve fuel economy up to 70 percent compared to other similar vehicles, according to a press release.

Earlier this year, President Obama previewed the sort of trucks that will be involved in the program (See image above).

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