Jefferson County, Colorado – A county in Colorado has unveiled its new hybrid snowplough, believed to be the first of its kind in the United States. The new plough may begin plowing county roads as soon as this week.

Some companies have used the 2009 International Model 7300 Hybrid as a delivery truck, but Jefferson County is the first to have outfitted the hybrid truck as a snowplough. The truck has been shown to reduce hydrocarbon emissions by as much as 65 per cent.

If the hybrid snowplough performs well, the county said it may add more to its fleet of 130 snowploughs and 12 hybrid vehicles. The hybrid snowplough costs US$162,240 and will join a fleet of 82 road and bridge ploughs and graders that are deployed across the county during snowstorms.

The county’s Fleet Services Division began working on the idea for a hybrid snowplough two years ago, and anticipates that it will use 30 to 50 per cent less fuel than a traditional snowplough, which can cost as much as $250 to fill the diesel tank. It will be used primarily in urban and neighbourhood environments where its ability to conserve fuel while stopping and starting is most valuable.

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