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Grant Helps King County and NW Partners Purchase Newest, Cleanest Hybrid Diesel-Electric Utility Trucks

Release Date: 11/15/2006
Contact Information: Wayne Elson, (206) 553-1463, elson.wayne@epa.gov Tony Brown, (206) 553-1203, brown.anthony@epa.gov

(Seattle, Wash. – Nov. 15, 2006) Today EPA’s Administrator Stephen L. Johnson awarded $250,000 to King County and a consortium of 13 other Washington cities and counties to help launch an innovative program to purchase ultra-clean hybrid diesel-electric utility trucks and greatly reduce harmful diesel emissions in the Northwest.

    “These heavy-duty hybrid utility trucks will produce heavy-duty results for our environment and our economy,” said EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson. “Under the leadership of President Bush, EPA and our partners are moving cutting-edge technologies from the labs to the streets."

    "Hybrid propulsion is a future technology that is quickly becoming today's reality," said King County Executive Ron Sims. "Just a few years ago in our King County fleet we had only a handful of hybrid cars. Now, we operate dozens of cars, more than 200 hybrid buses, and will soon expand our green technology to include these new hybrid trucks. Working together with our regional partners and the EPA, we are bringing this cutting-edge technology into the mainstream here in the Pacific Northwest."

    EPA awarded the grant to the Northwest Hybrid Truck Consortium as part of its National Clean Diesel Campaign to encourage and facilitate leading-edge voluntary diesel emissions reductions throughout the country. This grant will help facilitate the purchase of 10 of the newest, cleanest hybrid diesel-electric utility trucks on the market today. Consortium members are providing $1.5 million in matching funds for the project.

    The Consortium’s effort is one of the first of its kind in the country to apply the diesel-electric hybrid technology to utility fleet vehicles. It will not only provide immediate benefits in cleaner air, but will help manufactures improve the technology and begin to create new markets for the heavy-duty hybrid technology.

    These newest hybrid diesel-electric truck engines’ emissions are even lower than required by EPA’s 2007 Clean Air Heavy Duty Diesel guidelines. Compared to conventional utility vehicles, these clean hybrid diesel-electric trucks will produce nearly 40 percent fewer greenhouse gas emissions, as well as up to a third fewer emissions that contribute to soot and smog. The new hybrid technology could also add up to 60 percent in fuel economy.

    The Consortium is working with the non-profit CALSTART-WestStart which has developed a hybrid truck commercialization strategy with the U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research Development and Engineering Center, truck manufacturers, technology companies and fleet users.

    King County formed the Northwest Hybrid Truck Consortium in November 2005, which includes King, Pierce, Snohomish and Thurston Counties; the cities of Bellevue, Renton, Tacoma, Seattle, Kent, Richland, Bremerton and Everett; Seattle Public Utilities and the Washington Department of Natural Resources.

    In addition to the King County project announced today, a total of $3.2 million has been awarded this year under EPA’s West Coast Collaborative grant program, part of the National Clean Diesel Campaign.

    The West Coast Collaborative is a partnership between leaders from federal, state, and local governments, the private sector and environmental groups in Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, Washington, California, Arizona, Canada and Mexico. This group has joined together and made reducing emissions from diesel engines a priority along the West Coast.

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