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VIDEO: Merritt logger has created a hybrid electric logging truck

On the outskirts of Merritt, a logging truck driver has created the prototype for a new way to haul logs.

It's a hybrid electric/diesel truck that promises more horsepower with a fraction of the fuel costs and emissions.

Chace Barber has a big following on TikTok, and that's helped him raise enough funds, to create a prototype that he's ready to show the world.

His new prototype.

<who>Photo credit: NowMedia </who>

"This is the version we believe we can actually sell to customers," said Barber.

He believes that since logging trucks generally go up the hills empty, and come down loaded, they are perfectly suited for this.

"Electric makes the most sense for the logging industry in BC," said Barber.

"Because you use the stored potential of the logs at the top of the hill, capture that energy going downhill with the regenerative breaking into the batteries, then you use the batteries to go back up empty."

<who>Photo credit: NowMedia </who>

The working prototype will be front and centre at this weekend's Fully Charged LIVE event in Vancouver which is being billed as a 'festival of electrification'.

"Fully Charged is putting us right in the front of their show when you walk in," he said.

"You're going to see this truck parked there with all of the other semi-trucks. It's kind of a proud moment."

It's happened fast for Barber.

When we last spoke with him, he was working with a 1962 Kenworth Logging truck and an idea.

He got that old beast running as a hybrid, but there were problems with snapping drive shafts.

<who>Photo credit: NowMedia </who>

So, the new prototype puts the power right at the axles.

And instead of a kit to convert older trucks, the idea shifted to a complete package ready to roll.

"And we've lined up a few customers now that are going to be trying the first five or six trucks out," said Barber.

"Those companies are going to try it out, tell us what works, tell us what doesn't work, tell us what we need to change," he explained.

"Then we can go to the final stage of selling them to the public."

<who>Photo credit: NowMedia </who>

Because of range limitations, Barber said fully electric trucks only work for about 10% of the industry.

He believes his hybrid model is the answer for most of what remains.

"We have made the first two real pure diesel/electric hybrid trucks in North America," said Barber.

"We can tackle that other 80% of the electrification that full-electric doesn't."

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