EPA Unveils Hydraulic Hybrid Diesel Delivery Truck

Posted on June 21, 2006

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has unveiled a series hydraulic hybrid diesel urban delivery vehicle, which the agency said will provide dramatic improvements in fuel economy and in emission reductions. The development of the hydraulic hybrid is the result of a partnership between the EPA, U.S. Army, UPS, International Truck and Engine Corp. and Eaton Corp.

The EPA and UPS plan to evaluate the vehicle's fuel economy performance and emissions during a series of tests in 2006. In laboratory testing, EPA's patented hydraulic hybrid diesel technology reportedly achieved a 60 to 70 percent improvement in fuel economy and more than a 40 percent reduction in carbon dioxide emissions, compared to a conventional UPS vehicle. EPA further cited laboratory tests showing that the technology has the potential to dramatically improve the fuel economy of urban vehicles used in applications such as package delivery, shuttle and transit buses and refuse pick-up.

In the series hydraulic hybrid diesel, a diesel engine is combined with a unique hydraulic propulsion system, replacing the conventional drivetrain and transmission. The vehicle uses hydraulic pumps and hydraulic storage tanks to store energy, similar to what is done with electric motors and batteries in hybrid electric vehicles. Fuel economy is increased in three ways: vehicle braking energy is recovered that normally is wasted; the engine is operated more efficiently; and the engine can be shut off when stopped or decelerating.

UPS will test the hydraulic hybrid for the next several months. It will be used on a city route in the Detroit area, making daily deliveries to homes and businesses. Previously, UPS partnered with the EPA on its hydrogen fuel cell delivery vehicles, which have been part of the company's fleet since 2003. UPS, International and Eaton have been working with the EPA and the U.S. Army's National Automotive Center on the hydraulic technology for several years.

Advertisement
Advertisement