In listening to NPR this morning (the article’s not up yet or I’d link to it), it seems that the EPA and UPS are going to be testing in Detroit a hydraulic hybrid delivery truck. In googling around,
this is the only article I can find which mentions the UPS test.
The EPA and UPS plan to evaluate the vehicle’s fuel economy performance and emissions during a series of tests in 2006. In laboratory testing, the EPA’s patented hydraulic hybrid diesel technology achieved a 60% to 70% improvement in fuel economy and more than a 40% reduction in carbon dioxide emissions, compared to a conventional UPS vehicle.
“EPA and our partners are not just delivering packages with this UPS truck - we are delivering environmental benefits to the American people,” said EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson. “President Bush is moving technology breakthroughs from the labs to the streets. We are doing what is good for our environment, good for our economy, and good for our nation’s energy security.”
The EPA cited laboratory tests showing that the technology has the potential to dramatically improve the fuel economy of urban vehicles used in applications such as package delivery, shuttle and transit buses and refuse pick-up.
In reading the description of the drive, it sounds similar to Preston Tucker’s idea.
In the series hydraulic hybrid diesel, a high-efficiency diesel engine is combined with a unique hydraulic propulsion system, replacing the conventional drivetrain and transmission. The vehicle uses hydraulic pumps and hydraulic storage tanks to store energy, similar to what is done with electric motors and batteries in hybrid electric vehicles. Fuel economy is increased in three ways: vehicle braking energy is recovered that normally is wasted; the engine is operated more efficiently; and the engine can be shut off when stopped or decelerating.
this site the added cost of this system is cheap, especially when compared to the cost of conventional gas/electric hybrids.
The vehicle that was displayed is a hydraulic hybrid, reported to achieve a 55 percent improvement in fuel economy. This hydraulic hybrid technology is projected to increase the cost of a large SUV by about $600 which would be quickly recouped by the consumer’s lower fuel and maintenance costs. Another 30-40% improvement is available through the conversion of the gasoline engine to a diesel engine.