Beer distributor buys 15 International Durastar Hybrid trucks

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The streets of southeast Michigan have just become a little greener, thanks to Navistar’s recent delivery of 15 International DuraStar Hybrid beverage tractors to area beverage distributor Powers Distributing Co. The family-owned company purchased the trucks through Tri-County International Trucks Inc., Navistar’s franchise dealership for southeast Michigan. Navistar says it is the largest order to date of International’s new hybrid beverage tractor by a beer distributor.

Powers Distributing says the hybrid trucks will allow it to slash its diesel use on 15 routes by more than 25 percent, or about 12,500 gallons per year. In addition to the recent International DuraStar Hybrid purchase, Powers Distributing says it already has a fleet of nearly 50 trucks that were switched to biodiesel in 2008; those older biodiesel trucks take another 10,000 gallons of diesel off the roads annually.

“Upgrading our fleet with the International DuraStar Hybrid is part of Powers’ commitment to using renewable resources and leaving Michigan cleaner, healthier and stronger for future generations,” says Gerald Powers, the company’s president. “These International DuraStar Hybrid tractors represent the future, and we encourage other businesses to join us in investing in new American technology that can reduce dangerous greenhouse gases and protect our land, air and Great Lakes.”

Navistar says that in addition to reducing fuel use by up to 40 percent, the International DuraStar Hybrid also reduces greenhouse gas emissions, emitting up to 33 percent fewer hydrocarbon emissions and 35 percent fewer nitrogen oxide emissions compared with standard diesel trucks.

“Navistar, in collaboration with Eaton Corporation, was the first to deliver assembly line production of hybrid technology to the truck industry,” says Steve Sexton, sales manager for Tri-County International Trucks Inc. “We’re pleased to congratulate Powers Distributing on being the largest purchaser among beer distributors nationally of the hybrid product. We think Powers is setting an excellent example for the beverage industry and other businesses in our region by making this significant investment in environmentally-friendly technology.”

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The International DuraStar Hybrid features an integrated hybrid powertrain solution jointly developed by Navistar and Eaton. The trucks employ a hybrid technology that includes a 60-horsepower electric motor and 460-volt batteries, supplementing a MaxxForce DT 244-horsepower engine that runs on a biodiesel mix of up to 20 percent. The hybrid-electric system is designed to recover energy during braking and can add power back into the driveline during starts and acceleration.

“Our trucks cover 700,000 miles a year, delivering more than 5 million cases of a wide range of beverages to our valued retail customers in southeast Michigan,” Powers says. “As we deliver choice to our customers and create local jobs in our community, thanks to the International DuraStar Hybrid, we look forward to operating more fuel-efficient and environmentally friendly vehicles. Powers is grateful that we can continue giving back to and making a positive impact in a community that has supported us for 70 years.”