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Nondiesel Students Treated to Hybrid-Truck Presentation

Pennsylvania College of Technology students get a hands-on feel for the future, hybrid drive technology, thanks to a vehicle loan from the Coca-Cola Bottling Company of New York Inc.Students from across Pennsylvania College of Technology’s varied curricula got a closer look at a Kenworth Eaton hybrid electric truck, thanks to an open invitation from an instructor of diesel equipment technology at the Schneebeli Earth Science Center.

The standing-room-only April 14 presentation by Mark E. Sones gave a number of students from many majors outside Penn College’s diesel program an opportunity to learn more about an incredible piece of hybrid technology that should have wide application given the emphasis on environmentally sound equipment.

The Kenworth hybrid truck used by students in Sones’ classes is on loan to the School of Natural Resources Management from the Coca-Cola Bottling Company of New York Inc. as a teaching tool in the college’s Diesel Equipment Technology program. The truck complements the lecture in Sones’ Automated Power Train and Hybrid Drive Systems course by providing an example of hybrid-drive technology.

Diesel equipment technology instructor Mark E. Sones enlightens a student from under the hybrid electric truck.The presentation consisted of a video overview in the ESC’s Industry Room and a live “walk-around”beneath the truck, which was hoistedby the four-wheel lift in the diesel laboratory.

” Observing current EPA emission regulations imposed on the commercial trucking industry’s internal combustion engines, we have nearly reached the mechanical and economic limits to how cleanly we can convert fossil fuel into usable energy,” Sones said. “Hybrid technology is a giant step forward in reducing emissions and fuel consumption.”

Coca-Cola reports a fuel-cost savings of 42 percentacross the board on its current fleet ofmore than 100 medium-duty vehicles,he explained, and plans to increase that fleet to nearly 200 in 2009.

“Another impressive statistic is Coca-Cola reports a flawless service record for their hybrid units that have been in service for over a year, proving the quality and research performed by Eaton prior to introducing this system,” Sones added. “With the combined support of Eaton and Coca-Cola, it has been a great opportunity to bring this technology into the classroom, where students receive Eaton hybrid technical certification and can experience hands-on training with the Coca-Cola truck in the lab setting.”

Photos by Renee Y. Bitler, secretary to the assistant dean of natural resources management/library & computer assistant