EPA and UPS introduce hydraulic hybrid delivery vehicle

As expected, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and United Parcel Service recently unveiled a hydraulic hybrid UPS delivery truck that will be tested throughout the rest of 2006 for fuel economy and emission reduction. “In laboratory testing, the EPA’s patented hydraulic hybrid diesel technology 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,” according to a press release from the agency.

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

I wrote earlier about rumours that Ford was planning to use the technology with its F-150 pickup truck, but it appears the focus these days is on larger fleet vehicles. It will be interesting to see whether this hydraulic technology proves competitive with hybrid-electric technology currently being deployed on delivery fleets through company’s such as Toronto-based Azure Dynamics.

For another take, check out this post at The Energy Blog.