Central Hudson will use its eight new heavy-duty hybrid trucks as a comparison against biodiesel-powered trucks already in service. Evaluating the pros and cons of each will point the way forward for the utility.
Central Hudson received $700,000 through the federal stimulus package to aid in the purchase of the new trucks, according to a press release.
“These trucks are being purchased as part of our normal vehicle replacement program, however with this funding we are able to obtain four diesel-electric hybrids and four plug-in diesel-electric hybrid models for our fleet,” said Carl E. Meyer, President and Chief Operating Officer.
The eight heavy-duty hybrid vehicles are estimated to save Central Hudson a combined 12,000 gallons of diesel fuel a year, while preventing more than 260,000 pounds in CO2 emissions.
The vehicles, which will not enter service until late next year, should help Central Hudson save about $40,000 annually in operating costs.
“These heavy-duty hybrid trucks will allow our use of two alternative fuels at the same time, electricity and biodiesel, providing the operating experience and information we can use in evaluating future vehicle purchases,” Meyer said.
For the rest of its fleet, Central Hudson uses B20 biodiesel fuel, a blend of 80 percent petroleum diesel and 20 percent soybean oil.
This grant is being administered through the New York State Research and Development Authority, and New York City and Lower Hudson Valley Clean Communities.