TruGreen, which financed the contract with the support of vouchers from California’s Hybrid Vehicle Incentive Program, plans to deploy the vehicles in California in lawn care and landscape service capacities as part of its commitment to create a greener fleet through new technologies.

The trucks incorporate Azure Balance Hybrid Electric drivetrain on a Ford E450 chassis and manage the conventional 5.4l Triton gasoline engine and the 5-speed automatic TorqShift transmission to deliver a 40% improvement in fuel efficiency as compared to other commercial vehicles.

The vehicles, which are expected to be delivered in the first quarter of 2011, feature engine-off-at-idle functionality to reduce the noise and environmental footprint of the truck, making them suitable for companies like TruGreen that are often at work in residential neighborhoods.

Azure vice president of sales Jay Sandler said that the company is thrilled to begin the relationship with TruGreen and enter into the lawn care service industry.

“TruGreen and ServiceMaster are well-known and respected companies, and we’re hopeful that this collaborative initiative will lead to other opportunities and market growth,” Sandler said.