Powers Distributing Co., a Orion Township, MI-based beverage distributor, recently bought 15 International DuraStar hybrid tractors from Tri-County International – making it the largest order to date for the new hybrid beverage tractor by a beer distributor, the company said.

Navistar said the trucks should help the Powers Distributing fleet reduce diesel fuel use on 15 routes by more than 25% or by approximately 12,500 gallons a year. The company added that Powers already has a fleet of nearly 50 trucks that were switched to biodiesel in 2008, helping further cut diesel fuel use by 10,000 gallons annually.

"Upgrading our fleet … is part of our commitment to using renewable resources and leaving Michigan cleaner, healthier and stronger for future generations," said Gerald Powers, president of Powers Distributing. "Our trucks cover 700,000 miles a year, delivering more than 5 million cases of a wide range of beverages. By using more homegrown U.S.-made fuels and less imported diesel, we can help break our nation’s dangerous dependence on fossil fuels."

The International DuraStar Hybrid features an integrated hybrid powertrain jointly developed by Navistar and Eaton Corp. that features a 60-hp electric motor and 460-volt batteries that supplement a MaxxForce DT 244-hp engine that runs on a biodiesel mix of up to 20 %.