MINNEAPOLIS – G&K Services, Inc. has launched a pilot program to test hybrid-electric trucks in its fleet of delivery vehicles. The company placed hybrid-electric diesel step vans into services in its locations in Northern California.

“We are excited to get these new hybrid trucks on the road, making deliveries to our customers,” said Dick Stutz, G&K’s senior vice president of operations. “G&K is focused on both maximizing the fuel economy of our delivery fleet and being good stewards of the environment.”

The company has more than 1,000 vehicles in service in its fleet in the U.S. and Canada, according to Jeff Huebschen, director of investor relations for the company. The company principally runs step vans, though it does operate some tractor-trailer trucks as well, he said. G&K Services works with leasing companies and outside contractors for maintenance, but has a group of internal staff that manages the fleet.

G&K Services worked with the state of California’s Hybrid Truck and Bus Voucher Incentive Project (HVIP) to obtain the vehicles, and the company said it plans to work closely with the State of California and vehicle manufacturers to track and analyze the performance of these vehicles.

“Our company is out there trying different things in order to find out what works best for us from a cost and benefit perspective and to do what works best from an environmental perspective,” Huebschen said.

By Greg Basich