Cox Enterprises adds nine International DuraStar hybrids to fleet

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Cox Enterprises on Thursday, July 31, announced the addition of nine International DuraStar Hybrid Bucket Trucks. Navistar says the hybrid trucks from provide dramatic potential fuel savings of nearly 60 percent in utility-type applications when the engine is shut off and electric power still operates the vehicle. Diesel emissions are eliminated when the hybrid truck operates equipment such as overhead utility booms solely on the truck’s battery power, instead of requiring the engine to run.

With the 13th largest fleet in the country, Cox is transitioning its fleet to lessen its impact on the environment by using flex-fuel vehicles and replacing existing vehicles with more fuel-efficient and/or hybrid models. Cox’s fleet is comprised of more than 15,000 vehicles — of which 257 are hybrids and 1,400 are capable of running on biodiesel.

“At Cox, we’re exploring all options to lessen our reliance on traditional petroleum resources,” says Mike Mannheimer, vice president and chief procurement officer of the Atlanta-based company. “Through our Cox Conserves program, we are actively reducing our company’s carbon footprint, and these trucks are part of the larger solution. Not only are they better for the environment, but they also reduce our overall fuel costs.”

The hybrid trucks will be used by Cox Enterprises’ multiservice broadband communications and entertainment subsidiary, Cox Communications. A “boom” or “bucket arm” extends on the trucks so wires on utility poles can be repaired or maintained. The hybrid trucks will be used in the following Cox Communications locations: Hampton Roads, Va. (2); New Orleans; Oklahoma City; Orange County, Calif.; Phoenix; Rhode Island; San Diego; and Springfield, Va.

“Cox is taking a leadership role in the telecommunications industry when it comes to operating clean, green vehicles,” says Jim Williams, director of new product sales and distribution for Warrenville, Ill.-based Navistar. “They’ll save money on fuel, run quieter trucks and significantly reduce emissions in their communities.”

International hybrid trucks employ a parallel-type diesel-electric hybrid architecture that is supplied by Eaton Corp. It incorporates an electric motor/generator between the output of an automated clutch and input of the automated transmission. The system recovers energy normally lost during braking and stores the energy in batteries. The hybrid-electric system recovers energy during braking, and can add power back into the driveline during start and acceleration. This capability is designed to make the truck more efficient in standard driving, particularly in city and stop-and-go driving.

When the truck reaches a work site, the hybrid system can power the hydraulic pump that operates the aerial device and electric tools for up to two hours without the engine running. The engine-off option during worksite operations further helps reduce noise, emissions and fuel costs.