Maryland initiative launches 143 diesel-electric hybrid Freightliners

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The Maryland Energy Administration, the U.S. Department of Energy, Daimler Trucks North America and other participants announced the deployment of 143 Freightliner clean diesel-electric hybrid and Freightliner Custom Chassis clean diesel-hydraulic hybrid trucks at a ceremony in Baltimore.

“We congratulate the partners in the Maryland Hybrid Truck Initiative on their launch today of the largest collaborative heavy-duty hybrid truck project in the nation,” says Allen Schaeffer, executive director of the Diesel Technology Forum. “Though the focus of today’s announcement is the funding of hybrid and hydraulic hybrid powertrains, it’s important to recognize that these two technologies are coupled with the latest generation new clean-diesel engines, the most fuel-efficient heavy-duty vehicle technology available. This is the best of both worlds – advanced clean diesel engines with near-zero emissions coupled with hybrid powertrains that capture and recycle energy of the truck operation.”

Schaeffer says new heavy-duty clean diesel engines like those used in the Maryland initiative’s Freightliner trucks reduce emissions to near zero levels – by more than 95 percent from 2007 generation vehicles. According to DTF, the Baltimore-Washington region is rated as serious for ozone nonattainment, and Schaeffer says these vehicles can contribute substantially to improving regional air quality.

“This cutting-edge clean diesel technology will allow for us to continue to grow our economy while also significantly reducing fuel consumption and emissions,” he says. DTF says the Maryland initiative will provide immediate environmental benefits by reducing NOx emissions by an estimated 67,000 pounds per year, greenhouse gas emissions by 650,000 pounds per year, and fuel consumption by more than 135,000 gallons per year. “This successful project should serve as the model for every other region throughout the nation,” Schaeffer says.