Pennington Gas Service, based in Morenci, MI, is the first customer to put into daily hazardous-material delivery service a Freightliner Business Class M2e Hybrid.

Pennington delivers propane to customers in Michigan, Ohio and Indiana. Company partner Keith Pennington first showed interest in the M2e Hybrid, which is powered by an Eaton hybrid-electric drivetrain, after a test drive at this year's NTEA Work Truck Show. "I'd never seen a hybrid truck like this for the propane industry, and it was evident that Freightliner was leading the charge in pursuing this technology. So, I decided to find out more," said Pennington.

The truck is equipped with the Eaton parallel electric hybrid system, enabling it to operate using the diesel engine alone or in combination with the hybrid electric motor. The motor provides launching power to improve fuel economy in stop-and-go operations. Pennington said he anticipates a 30% savings in fuel usage and emissions savings.

"The ability to turn off the diesel engine and use the hybrid system while pumping propane to our customers is ideal," said Pennington. "Not only does it make economical and environmental sense, but a quiet, zero emissions pumping operation is safer for the residential neighborhoods where we do the majority of our business."

"Pennington's proposal for a hybrid hazmat delivery truck was certainly a challenge, but after tapping our engineers and partners such as Eaton Corp. and Signature Truck Systems, we knew that we could make it happen," said David Bryant, vocational sales manager-- hybrids, for Freightliner Trucks.