U.s. To Help Md. Firms Buy Hybrid Vehicles

August 27, 2009|By Meredith Cohn | Meredith Cohn,meredith.cohn@baltsun.com

Maryland will receive $5.9 million in stimulus money to help pay for 150 new hybrid vehicles used on state roads by private companies, state officials announced yesterday.

The companies include Aramark, Efficiency Enterprises, Nestle Waters of North America, Sysco Corp. and UPS. As a group committed to alternative fuel vehicles, they formed the Maryland Hybrid Truck Good Movement Initiative to seek the money to help offset the cost of new trucks and buses.

Total cost for the new fleets will be $14.7 million, with the companies paying the difference.

The hybrids are expected to reduce the amount of petroleum used in a year by more than 460,000 gallons, reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 262,610 pounds and create more than 200 jobs in manufacturing, sales and maintenance, according to the Maryland Energy Administration, which partnered with industry to apply for the money.

The grant comes from a 15-year-old federal program called Clean Cities that forms coalitions around the nation to reduce petroleum consumption in transportation.

"These grants represent the future of sustainable transportation," said Gov. Martin O'Malley in a statement. "It is part of a multi-year transition to a fleet where our vehicles, including commercial trucks, state-operated vehicles, and the buses that serve our state will be cleaner, quieter, more fuel efficient and more reliable. Thanks to President Obama and a Congress that understands the dire need to invest in our green infrastructure, these grants represent yet another installment on a long-term commitment to sustainable transportation in Maryland."

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