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EPA to Build World's First Full Hydraulic Hybrid Urban Delivery Vehicle

Release Date: 02/10/2005
Contact Information:

John Millett 202-564-7842 /

(02/10/05) EPA and four partners are building the world's first full hydraulic hybrid urban delivery vehicle with significantly improved fuel economy and reduced harmful emissions. The partners--UPS, Eaton Corp., International Truck and Engine Corp. and U.S Army National Automotive Center--seek to transfer EPA technologies from the laboratory to the marketplace.

The application of this technology can be especially significant because urban delivery vehicles--including buses, refuse trucks and package delivery vehicles--often operate in stop-and-go traffic. The benefits of this technology are reduced pollution and increased fuel economy.

The partnership capitalizes on two EPA breakthroughs - full hydraulic hybrid and Clean Diesel Combustion (CDC)- which were invented and patented at EPA's National Vehicle and Fuel Emissions Laboratory in Ann Arbor, Mich.

The partnership's first phase features a full hydraulic hybrid powertrain and an unique and innovative 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.

Within a year, a second phase of the project would add a CDC engine capable of showing cost-effective compliance with the 2010 diesel emission standards without needing any NOx reduction controls in the exhaust system.

Together, these technologies work to make the world's cleanest, most fuel-efficient, and most cost-effective urban delivery vehicle, achieving 90 percent reduction in NOx emissions in meeting the 2010 diesel emission standards without the added cost of NOx aftertreatment, 60-70 percent better fuel economy, and fast payback for the cost of the technology. A typical urban delivery vehicle using this technology in stop-go traffic could save $2500 in fuel each year (assuming 25,000 miles per year and $2 per gallon fuel.)

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. As contractors to EPA, FEV Engine Technology Inc. and Southwest Research Institute assisted in the development of EPA's patented hydraulic hybrid and clean diesel combustion technologies. Morgan-Olson assisted with changes allowing the UPS truck body to be removable for testing purposes. For more information, visit: .