Freightliner develops hybrid hazmat truck

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Freightliner Trucks, together with Eaton Corp., has developed a Freightliner Business Class M2e Hybrid truck equipped with an Eaton Hybrid Electric Drivetrain System. Created for Pennington Gas Service, this truck marks the first application of the Eaton parallel electric hybrid system to a hazardous material delivery application.

Pennington Gas Service delivers propane primarily to residential customers in Michigan, Ohio and Indiana. A longtime proponent of environmentally-friendly solutions, company partner Keith Pennington became interested in the Freightliner Business Class M2e Hybrid after test driving one at The Work Truck Show.

“I’d never seen a hybrid truck like this for the propane industry, and it was evident that Freightliner was leading the charge in pursuing this technology. So, I decided to find out more,” said Pennington. “Having been a Freightliner customer for almost 10 years, I knew they’d do everything possible to make my vision a reality.”

Pennington also noted the Business Class M2e Hybrid’s visibility, maneuverability and comfort were some of the key features that initially caught his attention.

“Pennington’s proposal for a hybrid hazmat delivery truck was certainly a challenge, but after tapping our engineers and partners such as Eaton Corp., and Signature Truck Systems, we knew that we could make it happen,” said David Bryant, vocational sales manager, Hybrids, for Freightliner Trucks.

Pennington’s new truck is equipped with the Eaton parallel electric hybrid system, which enables the truck to operate using the diesel engine alone, or in combination with the hybrid electric motor.

The hybrid electric motor also provides additional power to launch the truck, further improving fuel economy in high stop-and-go operations.
Pennington anticipates reducing fuel usage and emissions by up to 30 percent.

“The ability to turn off the diesel engine and use the hybrid system while pumping propane to our customers is ideal,” said Pennington. “Not only does it make economical and environmental sense, but a quiet, zero emissions pumping operation is safer for the residential neighborhoods where we do the majority of our business.”

To receive instantaneous feedback on how the hybrid system is faring while on the road, Pennington Gas and Freightliner Trucks have partnered with Telogis, a leading provider of enterprise fleet tracking software.

“Pennington Gas Service has a long history of advocacy in the propane industry, and we are pleased to continue our stewardship by bringing new technologies to the market,” said Pennington. “We are excited about our new Freightliner hybrid truck, and are looking forward to realizing its benefits both for the environment and for our business.”

For more information, call or visit your nearby Freightliner Trucks dealership or go to

Freightliner Trucks is a division of Daimler Trucks North America LLC, headquartered in Portland, Oregon, and is the leading heavy-duty truck manufacturer in North America. Daimler Trucks North America produces and markets Class 4-8 trucks and is a Daimler company, the world’s leading commercial vehicle manufacturer.

Pennington Gas Service, headquartered in Morenci, Mich., serves propane gas customers in 43 Michigan, Ohio and Indiana counties. Founded in 1953, Pennington Gas Service is one of the region’s largest and fastest growing independent propane companies. For more information, go to