Truck makers on leading edge
Paccar, Inc., maker of Peterbilt and Kenworth trucks, is singled out in the current edition of IndustryWeek magazine (story available here) for their achievements in the hybrid drivetrain space in commercial truck development and production. Both Peterbilt and Kenworth rolled out hybrids this year for pickup and delivery and regional haul, from Kenworth’s T370 Class 7 model to Peterbilt’s 367. Aside from a few hybrid SUVs that have been available in recent years, the story suggests, American auto manufacturers are well behind the commercial motor vehicle makers in delivering next-generation drivetrains for fuel- and emissions-conscious customers. The Chevy Volt, for instance, a plug-in hybrid model we blogged about a few weeks back, will not be available before 2010, while Kenworth and Pete hybrids are available today for certain applications and utilize similar technology in a much larger variety of configurations.