Tegna’s WUSA unveils eco-friendly live vehicle, ECO9

Tegna’s WUSA has rolled out a new low-emission live reporting vehicle to cover the Washington, D.C. market. 

Dubbed ECO9 and using a Toyota Highlander XLE Hybrid, the live truck is billed as the first environmentally friendly vehicle in the broadcasting industry and was built by the team at Frontline Communications as part of Tegna’s larger efforts to go green.

“Our environment matters, and we’ve committed to making a positive impact through our work, which includes today’s introduction of ECO9,” said Richard Dyer, president and general manager, WUSA in a statement.  “ECO9 might be the first of its kind, but we hope it will be a standard setter as we begin testing its capabilities here in the DMV.”

The vehicle includes three cameras, including a 360-degree external camera from Rugged CCTV and two internal cameras from Marshall Electronics

A rechargeable lithium-ion battery system can power the vehicle for live reporting for up to six hours with the engine turned off, with solar panels on the roof capable of recharging the batteries.

“We use live trucks in our business and those vehicles have an impact on our environment.… So we started asking ourselves how we can use the tradition of innovation we have here at Tegna to innovate in a way that would have a positive impact on the environment.” 

“ECO9 is the next step in the evolution of broadcast trucks and is groundbreaking for WUSA9,” said Rob Gibson, WUSA director of technology and operations. “The live truck’s broadcasting system allows it to run completely on battery power during an entire news shift. This technology ensures we are serving the greater good of our communities by sharing the important news of the day while simultaneously being responsible stewards of our natural resources.”


Transmission wise, ECO9 uses a Dejero EnGo and a 5G wireless router from Inseego.

ECO9 was made possible by the Washington Area Toyota Dealers, which is serving as a launch partner for the vehicle with branding displayed on-air and on the Toyota Highlander.