Hybrid urban delivery

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and four partners are building the world’s first full hydraulic hybrid urban delivery vehicle.

The partners – UPS, Eaton, International Truck and Engine and the US Army National Automotive Center – seek to transfer EPA technologies from the laboratory to the marketplace.

The partnership will capitalise on two EPA breakthroughs – full hydraulic hybrid and Clean Diesel Combustion (CDC) – which were invented and patented at EPA’s National Vehicle and Fuel Emissions Laboratory in Ann Arbor, MI.

The partnership’s first phase involves the deployment of a full hydraulic hybrid powertrain and an unique hydraulic hybrid propulsion system integrated with the drive axle. Hydraulic motors and hydraulic tanks are used to store energy, in contrast to electric motors and batteries used in electric hybrid vehicles. Like other hybrid systems, energy saved when applying the brakes is reused to help accelerate the vehicle.

Within a year, a second phase of the project would add a CDC engine capable of showing cost-effective compliance with the 2010 US diesel emission standards without needing any NOx reduction controls in the exhaust system.

The results, the EPA says, will be the world’s cleanest, most fuel-efficient, and most cost-effective urban delivery vehicle, achieving 90% reduction in NOx emissions and 60-70% better fuel economy.

A typical urban delivery vehicle using this technology in stop-go traffic could save $2500 in fuel each year (assuming 25,000 miles per year and $2 per gallon fuel.)

More information is at http://www.epa.gov/otaq/technology/index.htm#hybrid.