A123 Systems, a developer and manufacturer of Nanophosphate lithium ion batteries and systems, has said that Eaton has selected the company to supply battery systems for production of a hybrid power system to be installed on a Ford F550 based plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV).

The program is partially funded by a $45m grant in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds from the Transportation Electrification Initiative administered by the US Department of Energy.

It is managed by the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) under the lead of the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SC-AQMD) and is aimed to develop a production ready plug-in hybrid power train system suitable for utility use in light/medium duty service vehicles.

The Eaton-powered PHEV trouble truck is intended to offer zero-emissions operation depending on how far the vehicle travels and lower operating costs, the company said.

The battery pack that A123 will develop for the project is expected to give the PHEV trouble truck a 10 mile range in EV mode or five to six hours of engine-off operation at the work-site. Eaton’s integrated charging system also charges the battery in less than 6 hours.

The vehicle is expected to have a fuel savings of up to 63%, depending on drive cycle and the use of its HVAC system.

Jason Forcier, vice president of automotive solutions group at A123 Systems, said: “As fleet managers begin to consider emissions costs in addition to the lifetime costs of trucks, including acquisition costs, fuel and maintenance, the business case has become even more compelling.”