The House of Representatives recently passed H.R. 6323 — the Heavy Duty Hybrid Vehicle Research, Development, and Demonstration Act — which encourages the development of technologies that can reduce fuel consumption and emissions.
“Trucks are just one area where technological advances can pay dividends,” says U.S. Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.), who sponsored the bill. “The fuel consumption of these trucks is roughly equivalent to 2.5 million passenger cars. Eaton Corporation estimates that the introduction of as few as 10,000 hybrid trucks could save 7.2 million gallons of diesel per year and reduce emissions by 83,000 tons. That’s the equivalent of removing every passenger car from New York City for 25 days.”
However, the Department of Energy currently does not offer any grants for the development of hybrid trucks, according to Sensenbrenner, who says his act changes that by creating a program to support the development and commercialization of hybrid trucks. “This act will put hybrid trucks on the road and accelerate the commercialization of an important technology,” he says.
“Technology-based solutions are a better approach to achieving energy independence and combating climate change,” Sensenbrenner says. “Unlike cap and tax programs, advanced technologies can strengthen the U.S. economy, keep energy costs low, and reduce emissions. The gains that we can make in just one area demonstrate the advantages of this approach.”