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Azure Dynamics to build hybrid trucks and vans, will add up to 50

While some people are trying to build a better mousetrap, Azure Dynamics is trying to build a better hybrid truck.

The Oak Park-based firm that specializes in hybrid technology will supply the hybrid powertrains to Indiana-based Utilimaster. Those powertrains will be a major component in building the next generation of hybrid vans, commercial trucks and utility vehicles. Think delivery vans, shuttle buses and the Ford's E-Series vans.

This new business looks to be paying off well for Metro Detroit. Azure, which just moved its headquarters here last fall, plans to hire as many as 50 people within the next couple of years to add to the 15 new workers it brought to Oak Park last year.

"We just started hiring in Michigan. There is significant talent in Metro Detroit," says Steven Glaser, vice president of corporate affairs for Azure. "It's an ideal place for us because so many of our partners are situated here and there is such a deep talent pool here."

Azure strategically targeted commercial vans, delivery trucks and shuttle buses to create its own niche in the competitive hybrid market. It is also planning to expand internationally.

The company has rights to more than 20 patents and employs more than 100 people in four locations across North America. It received the Deloitte Technology Green 15 Award last year and the Sustainable Energy Pioneer Award in 2006.

Source: Steven Glaser, vice president of corporate affairs for Azure Dynamics
Writer: Jon Zemke

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