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Brown Goes Green: New UPS Vehicle is World’s Most Fuel Efficient

Release Date: 06/27/2006
Contact Information: Elias Rodriguez (212) 637-3664,

(New York, NY) The most fuel-efficient and cost-effective delivery vehicle in the world was showcased in New York City today by Alan J. Steinberg, EPA’s Regional Administrator and Mike Ferony from UPS. EPA and UPS partnered to develop the delivery truck, the first of its kind that uses EPA-patented hydraulic hybrid technology that can increase fuel efficiency by 60-70 percent in urban driving. It also lowers greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent compared to UPS’s conventional diesel delivery trucks.

“President George W. Bush has charged EPA with this mandate: To accelerate the pace of environmental protection while maintaining our nation’s economic competitiveness,” said Mr. Steinberg. “With this technological breakthrough, EPA and its partners can deliver more than packages to the American people. We can deliver a cleaner, healthier environment. EPA is moving technology from the labs to the streets, which benefits our environment, our economy and helps to increase the nation’s energy security.”

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 power train 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 Corporation, UPS, International Truck and Engine Corporation, U.S. Army – National Automotive Center, and Morgan-Olson. Major technical support was provided by FEV Engine Technology, Inc. and Southwest Research Institute.

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