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Feds to back Mack's hybrid

October 21, 2002|by JULIE E. GREENE

julieg@herald-mail.com

Mack Trucks is expecting $1.5 million in federal money to help the truck manufacturer create a gas-electric hybrid refueling truck at its Hagerstown powertrain plant for the Air Force.

Mack has been trying for nearly three years to develop a hybrid truck that could be produced in high volume for commercial sale, Mack spokesman Bob Martin said Friday.

The truck manufacturer has been trying to get federal assistance for its effort for some time, so Congressional approval of the defense appropriations bill containing the money is "very positive," Martin said.

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President Bush is expected to sign the Defense Appropriations Conference Report bill for the current fiscal year within a week, said Lisa Wright, spokeswoman for U.S. Rep. Roscoe Bartlett, R-Md.

Martin said it's too soon to know whether this will lead to new jobs at Hagerstown's Mack plant, where the hybrid will be engineered. The plant has approximately 1,200 employees, he said.

The government is helping the truck manufacturer so the technology can be created and used for military use such as refueling trucks for Air Force aircraft, Martin said.

The truck would use less fuel and produce fewer emissions than a conventional refueling truck, according to Bartlett's office.

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