Eaton Corporation and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) showcased the first-ever hydraulic hybrid diesel urban delivery vehicle. The EPA's patented hydraulic hybrid diesel technology is achieving a 60 to 70 percent improvement in fuel economy and more than a 40 percent reduction in carbon dioxide emissions in initial laboratory testing of a large UPS truck.
EPA estimates that the technology has the potential to save more than 1,000 gallons per year for each urban delivery vehicle. UPS will begin testing the vehicle this year on the road in the Detroit area and then will bring it to Cleveland for additional testing. The vehicle was developed through a partnership between EPA, Eaton, UPS, International Truck and Engine Corporation and the U.S. Army. EPA unveiled the truck in Washington, D.C. in late June.
"Eaton is proud to be working with the EPA and our industry partners in bringing this leading- edge technology to market," said Alexander M. Cutler, Eaton chairman and chief executive officer. "Innovative technologies such as the hydraulic hybrid truck represent Eaton's focus on energy management, market-leading products and environmental responsiveness."
Margo T. Oge, director of EPA's Office of Transportation and Air Quality, said the development of the series hydraulic hybrid technology highlights the benefits of public-private partnerships to further refine and commercialize advanced technology.
"This breakthrough technology is good for the environment, good for our economy and good for the nation's energy security," Oge said. "This dynamic partnership with companies such as Eaton, UPS, International and the Army signals strong interest in the commercial viability of this technology."
In the series hydraulic hybrid truck, a high-efficiency diesel engine is combined with a unique hydraulic propulsion system to replace the conventional drivetrain and transmission. The vehicle uses hydraulic pump motors and hydraulic storage tanks to recover and store energy, similar to what is done with electric motors and batteries in hybrid electric vehicles.
Vehicle fuel economy is increased in three ways: braking energy that normally is wasted is recovered and reused; the engine is operated more efficiently; and the engine can be shut off when not needed, such as when stopped or decelerating.
"This hydraulic hybrid technology is quite promising and we're eager to see how the vehicle performs in a real-world setting as part of our fleet in Cleveland," said Frank W. Whalley, UPS vice president of its North Ohio district. "We have led our industry in testing alternative fuel vehicles because fuel conservation is critical to our business in Ohio and around the world."
Eaton has been working with the EPA since October 2001 under a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement involving hydraulic hybrid systems. As part of Eaton's role in designing and developing hybrid technologies, company engineers have been co-located at EPA's Ann Arbor, Mich. facility. Eaton is also working on a number of other hybrid vehicle initiatives with UPS, International Truck and Engine Corporation and others.
"Eaton sees the series hydraulic hybrid as a natural and exciting progression in the development of hydraulic hybrid systems," said Craig Arnold, Eaton senior vice president and president - Fluid Power. "Eaton is committed to developing next-generation hybrid technologies and to developing products that benefit our customers, communities and the environment."
Eaton is also partnering with EPA through the agency's Green Suppliers Network (GSN) program. Eaton has joined a group of large manufacturers committed to sharing both manufacturing techniques and environmental process improvements with its small- and medium-sized suppliers to make them more competitive and environmentally involved as partners in the program. Eaton plans to involve 20 suppliers from Ohio in the first phase of the program as GSN partners.