Hate filling up your gas tank at the pumps? Hybrid and electric work vehicles are definitely on the horizon. Electric vehicles use batteries to store power while hybrids use small fuel-powered engines to recharge batteries or boost electric motor power when needed at high speeds or while accelerating. Right now Ford is quietly selling hybrid F-150s to industrial users and utility companies, and public announcements of plug-in work vehicles and hybrids will become common in 18 to 24 months. FedEx is using plug-in, rechargeable electric delivery vans in six cities right now, and Mercedes is testing eight full-size delivery trucks in Portugal, each with 14 foot cargo beds.
General Electric even has batteries that now power scoop trams in heavy, underground mining equipment. It remains to be seen if the higher cost of alternative vehicles will justify their fuel savings for professional painters, but it looks like practical alternatives to outrageous fuel costs are coming.