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Hybrid TrucksUndoubtedly, there is a need to pursue alternatives to decrease fuel consumption, lower our dependency on fossil fuels, promote cleaner air and reduce CO2 emissions. The question I have — and I hope it is not a naive one — is why don’t the heavy-truck manufacturers produce tractors engineered on the powertrain principles used in the design of railroad engines? These mammoth powerhouses are actually moved by DC/electric motors powered by diesel generators and are thereby hybrids.The most fuel-inefficient-run segment on any gasoline or diesel engine is during acceleration, because these engines produce little torque at low rpm. Electric motors are not burdened by this problem and provide far better acceleration as a result. Point is, this is technology that has been in use for a long time. Why then are we not going to see a prototype for another two years? Isn’t this something we should have seen on the road a decade ago?Jason HaywoodCustomer Service andTransportation CoordinatorThe Levy Co. Inc.Portage, Ind.Diesel vs. GasolineThis letter is to the oil companies and to the Bush administration regarding the price of diesel fuel. Why is diesel still priced 20 cents to 60 cents a gallon higher than gasoline? The cost to produce diesel is far less than to produce gasoline and diesel always was at least 15 cents a gallon less than gasoline.Do the oil companies still have to gouge the transport industry, forcing higher prices on the general public and lower wages on the independent trucking industry? We don’t go joyriding in our trucks, and for the most part, no unnecessary extra mileage is added to our trips. So, how about a little fairness, oil sharks? Put the prices of diesel back down where they belong. Mike ShevlinOwner-OperatorEvansville, Ind. Hybrid TrucksThese letters appear in the Feb. 5 print edition of Transport Topics. Subscribe today.
February 9, 2007 8:30 AM, EST