UPS First in Industry to Purchase Hydraulic Hybrid Vehicles - aftermarketNews

UPS First in Industry to Purchase Hydraulic Hybrid Vehicles

UPS will deploy the first two of the new HHV's in Minneapolis during the first quarter of 2009.

ATLANTA – UPS has become the first in its industry to purchase hydraulic hybrid vehicles for commercial use.

The technology, originally developed in a federal laboratory of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), stores energy by compressing hydraulic fluid under pressure in a large chamber. UPS was the only company in its industry asked to road-test the technology two years ago and now becomes the first delivery company to place an order for hydraulic hybrid vehicles (HHV).

Disclosing the results of its road testing on Detroit routes for the first time, UPS and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said the prototype vehicle had achieved a 45-to-50 percent improvement in fuel economy compared to conventional diesel delivery trucks. UPS believes similar fuel economy improvements and a 30 percent reduction in CO2 are achievable in daily, real-world use. The EPA believes the technology can perform equally well in other applications such as shuttle and transit buses and refuse pick-up trucks.

UPS will deploy the first two of the new HHV’s in Minneapolis during the first quarter of 2009. Eaton, which helped develop and refine the vehicle’s hydraulic hybrid power system, will monitor the vehicle’s fuel economy performance and emissions in the Minneapolis area. The additional five HHV’s will be deployed later in 2009 and early 2010.

The EPA estimates that when manufactured in high volume, the added costs of the hybrid components can be recouped in less than three years through lower fuel and brake maintenance costs.

Eaton began working with the EPA in October 2001 under a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement involving hydraulic hybrid systems and components. As part of Eaton’s role in designing and developing hybrid technologies, the company’s engineers were co-located at the EPA’s Ann Arbor, Mich., facility. Eaton also earned a number of hybrid power system patents and continues to work on a number of other hybrid vehicles initiatives with UPS and others.

UPS’s current “green fleet” totals more than 1,600 low-carbon vehicles, including all-electric, hybrid electric, compressed natural gas (CNG), liquefied natural gas (LNG) and propane-powered trucks.

In addition to the hydraulic hybrid, UPS has road-tested hydrogen fuel cell delivery trucks. UPS began deploying alternative fuel vehicles in the 1930’s with a fleet of electric trucks in New York City.

The HHV vehicle order follows the May 2008 purchase of 500 hybrid electric and CNG vehicles and the April 2008 deployment of 167 new CNG vehicles in Atlanta, Dallas, Los Angeles, Ontario, San Ramon, Fresno and Sacramento. With UPS’s new purchases, the company’s “green fleet,” already the largest private fleet in the transportation industry, will total more than 2,100 vehicles.

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