The First Hybrids


Rochester, Minnesota’s hybrid. Courtesy of the Rochester Public Library.

In February 2012, Mendocino County, CA, launched America’s first hybrid bookmobile. Funding came from the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act and a grant from Air Quality Management. It is a Freightliner diesel/electric vehicle that recharges at each stop and has 50% more the efficiency of the bookmobile it replaced. “Even using power for a half-hour, it only takes a few minutes to recharge,” explained driver Dave Frick. It also comes equipped with solar panels that charge the battery running the air-conditioning and electricity. The exterior was painted by local artist James Sibbet. As another form of recycling, it carries a box of donated books for patrons to pick from.
A few months later, Rochester, MN followed with a bookmobile powered by a hybrid drive train and generator. Other environmentally-friendly innovations include solar panels, LED lights and recycled rubber floors. It’s estimated that these green technologies save the library $3,000 in operating costs each year.


Mendocino County’s hybrid bookmobile, the first in the country. Courtesy of the Mendocino County Public Library.

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3 Responses to The First Hybrids

  1. James Sibbet & Carole Freeman says:

    Regarding the art on the Mendocino hybrid. The graphic was created with computer tools, enlarged and printed on vinyl. I am flattered to think it was painted. James Sibbet

  2. Pingback: Hybrid Bookmobiles | Going Green @your library

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