Shipping giant UPS has teamed up with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to put more eco-friendly delivery trucks on the road.
This story from CNN says UPS will order some new vehicles that uses technology developed by the feds, namely, a hydraulic hybrid system:
The Environmental Protection Agency holds many of the patents on the innovative technology, which was developed in an EPA fuel-emissions lab in Ann Arbor, Michigan, with the help of engineers from Eaton Corp., which designs hydraulics systems.
"This vehicle to my right may look like a brown package truck that you'd see every day in your neighborhood," said UPS Chief Operating Officer David Abney, standing beside a prototype of the hybrid truck at a news conference Monday. "But underneath the hood is a whole different kind of technology."
The trucks combine a diesel engine with a unique hydraulic propulsion system that replaces the conventional drivetrain and transmission. Using hydraulic pumps and storage tanks, the vehicle captures and stores energy the way a battery does on an electric hybrid car.
The motor converts pressure from the hydraulic fluid into rotating power for the wheels and uses stored energy to accelerate the vehicle, thereby recovering more than 70 percent of the energy normally wasted during braking.
The article goes on to say that the design is perfect for the stop-and-start driving UPS does in cities. The first truck will hit the road in Minneapolis soon after the first of the year.