Facility Maintenance Decisions

Utility Vehicles: Hybrid Technology Makes a Splash

The next generation of utility vehicles is likely to further reflect the shifting priorities of managers.

“Utility vehicle users are going to find that smaller, more efficient engines, alternatives to traditional steel construction, electric power and bio-fuels are going to start to be adopted,” Cunningham says.

Tollison points to one emerging technology managers will need to consider closely.

“Hybrid technology might be the most promising alternative fuel source on the horizon,” he says. “The advantage of hybrid is that an engine and a generator supplement the electric power for the vehicle, which reduces emissions and fuel use, and reduces trade-offs made today for electric vehicle adopters, which could include payload and towing capacity, and overall ‘pedal down’ run time.”

The challenge for manufacturers is to respond to customer needs while still keeping in mind the core appeal of utility vehicles in grounds operations.

“Once the market returns, you have to be there with something the customer wants,” Gilles says. “We think eventually (the market) will turn back to performance. Maybe that economical utility vehicle you bought was cheaper upfront, but there’s a reason for that.”

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Utility Vehicles: Hybrid Technology Makes a Splash

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  posted on 2/1/2009   Article Use Policy

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