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Honda Adds Hybrid Diesel-Electric Truck to Fleet

March 09, 2009

TORRANCE, CA --- American Honda Motor Co. has introduced a Class 8 hybrid diesel electric truck into its truck fleet at its parts center in Alpharetta, GA.

Built for Honda by Peterbilt Motors Co., the Smartway-certified Model 386 hybrid truck is expected to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by almost 45 tons per year, as compared to its diesel counterpart, Honda said.

Honda uses Class 8 trucks to transport service parts between its parts centers and dealerships. The company's diesel truck fleet, operated by truck fleet partner UPS Freight Truckload, typically travels 300,000 miles per day.

The hybrid truck will be used along two routes -- a hilly route in Tennessee and a relatively flat one in Georgia -- in order to evaluate the truck's fuel economy under various driving conditions. Honda will alternate the hybrid with a standard diesel truck and collect data using engine telematics to accurately compare the performance of the two trucks on the same routes. Testing and evaluation will take place over the next year.

"We're excited to add this environmentally advanced truck to our fleet," said Jim Roach, senior vice president of parts and service for American Honda. "With our truck fleet driving hundreds of thousands of miles per day, we feel this is a great opportunity for Honda to further reduce its carbon footprint."

The hybrid truck operates much like a hybrid passenger vehicle, using a parallel diesel-electric hybrid system developed by Eaton Corp. Similar to Honda's hybrid vehicles, Peterbilt's truck captures energy during braking and stores it in its system's batteries. The system also improves fuel efficiency and lowers emissions by powering the heating, air conditioning and vehicle electrical systems using a no-idle auxiliary power unit while the engine is off.

In addition, Honda will soon add a Peterbilt Class 7 medium-duty hybrid truck at its parts centers in Irving, TX, and Alpharetta, GA.

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