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Eaton, EPA to road test hydraulic hybrid truck

15 August 2006

Eaton Corporation and the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) showcased the first-ever hydraulic hybrid diesel urban delivery vehicle. UPS will begin testing the vehicle this year on the road in the Detroit area and then will bring it to Cleveland for additional testing. The vehicle was developed through a partnership between EPA, Eaton, UPS, International Truck and Engine Corporation and the US Army. EPA unveiled the truck in Washington, DC in June.

The vehicle was showcased at an event in Cleveland. Eaton employees, local, state and federal officials, and the media viewed the new hybrid delivery truck, and were invited to take a test drive in Voinovich Park.

In the series hydraulic hybrid truck, a high-efficiency diesel engine is combined with a unique hydraulic propulsion system to replace the conventional drivetrain and transmission. The vehicle uses hydraulic pump motors and hydraulic storage tanks to recover and store energy, similar to what is done with electric motors and batteries in hybrid electric vehicles. Vehicle fuel economy is increased in three ways: braking energy that normally is wasted is recovered and reused; the engine is operated more efficiently; and the engine can be shut off when not needed, such as when stopped or decelerating.

In initial laboratory testing of a large UPS truck, the EPA’s hydraulic hybrid diesel technology achieved a 60 to 70% improvement in fuel economy and more than a 40% reduction in carbon dioxide emissions.

Source: Eaton Corporation