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Hybrid Technology Takes Giant Leap into Commercial Vehicles - EPA Unveils UPS Delivery Truck with 60 to 70 Percent Higher Fuel Economy

Release Date: 06/28/2006
Contact Information: David Deegan, (617) 918-1017

(Boston, Mass. - June 28, 2006) - The world’s first hydraulic hybrid commercial truck came to Boston City Hall today in the form of a brown UPS delivery truck.

EPA and UPS partnered to develop a first-of-its-kind delivery truck using EPA-patented hydraulic hybrid technology. With the breakthrough technology onboard, the UPS truck can increase fuel efficiency by 60 to 70 percent in urban driving. It also lowers greenhouse gas emissions by reducing carbon dioxide (CO2) by 40 percent compared to the conventional UPS diesel delivery trucks.

“With this promising new fuel efficiency technology, EPA is delivering for the American people to help our country kick it’s addiction to foreign oil,” said Robert W. Varney, regional administrator of EPA’s New England office. “EPA is proud to celebrate Independence Day by advancing our work for clean air and a healthy environment.”

Laboratory tests show that this hybrid technology has the potential to dramatically improve the fuel economy for package delivery vehicles, shuttle and transit buses, and refuse pickup. More than 1,000 gallons of fuel each year could be saved per vehicle.

EPA estimates that upfront costs for the hybrid components could be recouped in fewer than three years for a typical delivery vehicle. The net savings over the vehicle's lifespan could exceed $50,000, assuming current fuel prices.

The vehicle features a full hydraulic hybrid powertrain and a 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. Following a road tour of EPA Regional offices, the vehicle will be delivering UPS packages across Michigan this summer.

This partnership is occurring through Cooperative Research and Development Agreements, which Congress established to facilitate technology transfer of patented inventions from national laboratories to industry and the marketplace. Partners on the project are Eaton Corp., UPS, International Truck and Engine Corp., U.S. Army – National Automotive Center, and Morgan-Olson. Major technical support was provided by FEV Engine Technology Inc. and Southwest Research Institute.

More EPA information on hybrid hydraulic technology (epa.gov/otaq/technology/recentdevelopments.htm)

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