VinLux Fine Wine Transport will begin using two new Peterbilt hybrids to deliver wines from its Napa warehouse to restaurants and retailers in San Francisco, Press Democrat reports.
The medium-duty trucks are expected to be at least 30 percent more fuel efficient than similar vehicles; saving between 1,450 and 1,800 gallons of fuel annually per vehicle, or $7,000 to $9,000 annually at current diesel prices, which are around $5 a gallon in California.
The “parallel hybrid system” is similar to the ones in the Toyota Prius, and has an electric motor that assists the mechanical diesel engine with supplemental power during acceleration. The vehicles were jointly developed by Peterbilt Motors and Eaton Corp., and will cost 40 percent more than a basic truck. But Vinlux President, Tom Tunt, told Press Democrat that the extra costs should be offset by fuel savings within three years.
In other truck-related news, Peterbilt Motors and Delphi recently tackled truck idling by converting chemical energy in conventional fuels directly into electrical power without combustion.