As part of a public-private partnership to increase the commercial availability and use of alternative fuel vehicles, UPS announced its first purchases of the hydraulic hybrid vehicle, which promises fuel savings and environmental benefits.
The technology, originally developed in a federal laboratory of the Environmental Protection Agency, 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 MI 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 with 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 HHVs in Minneapolis MN 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. Another five HHVs will be deployed later in 2009 and early 2010.