Pensacola, Florida
Sunday August 19th 2018

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Buzz 9.02.10

ECUA’S NEW VEHICLE This week the Emerald Coast Utilities Authority introduced a new hybrid sanitation vehicle to its fleet—hoping to cut costs and help the environment by using less fuel and improving vehicle brake life.

The Peterbilt Model 320 HLA vehicle, which ECUA bought for $174,500, was initially a demo model with 4,600 miles on it. The utility also spent $30,000 for a hydraulic hybrid conversion kit.

According to Jim Roberts, ECUA spokesman, a new vehicle would generally cost $228,000. Roberts says the hybrid vehicle will be running different routes around the county to test its efficiency.

“The truck will be rotated on all routes, not just limited to one,” he says. “We want to test it under all road conditions from North Escambia to Perdido Key to

Pensacola. Every customer will see this beautiful vehicle.”

The idea to purchase the vehicle came from ECUA Director of Sanitation, Randy Rudd, who says the vehicle has the ability to recover a substantial amount of energy generally lost in other utility vehicles.

“The HLA technology works by recovering up to 75 percent of energy lost by the vehicle’s brakes in the form of pressurized hydraulic fluid,” he says in a press release.

“The fuel is stored until the driver next accelerates the vehicle, which reduces fuel consumption and wear on the engine. This is an ideal environmental option for refuse pick-up applications.”

ECUA plans on using the one vehicle for a year, “gathering performance and maintenance data. The authority will then use this data to compare the hydraulic hybrid system against other hybrid alternatives, and compressed natural gas powered vehicles.”

Some performance specs: 30 percent to 40 percent reduction in emissions, a 30 percent improvement in fuel consumption, reduces brake-related maintenance costs by 50 percent.

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