UPS Hydraulic Hybrid Alternative Fuel Vehicle Unveiled in Atlanta

Thomas Schueneman

As I mentioned in a previous post, I was invited to attend a press conference in Atlanta this week given by United Parcel Service, Eaton Corporation, Navistar, and the EPA where the latest innovation in alternative fuel technology was unveiled, the Hydraulic Hybrid Vehicle or HHV.

HHV UPS 'package car' in service

The project was spearheaded by the EPA at the National Vehicle and Fuel Emissions Laboratory in Ann Arbor, Michigan under a Cooperative Research and Development agreement with Eaton Corporation to research and design the fluid control systems for the HHV. The chassis for the UPS “package car” (that’s what UPS calls their delivery trucks) was built by Navistar.

UPS agreed to test the prototype HHV starting in 2006 in the “field laboratory” of delivery routes on the streets of Detroit.

Based on that initial testing, UPS has decided to purchase seven of the vehicles to add to their alternative fuel ground fleet, already the largest in the industry. The first two trucks will begin service in the first quarter of 2009 in Minneapolis, with subsequent deployment of the HHV throughout 2009 and early 2010.

It is hoped that as further testing is done on the HHV through this initial purchase by UPS, HHV technology can be scaled-up to realize the full potential of the concept.

Tests done in Detroit show a 45–50% increase in fuel efficiency over a standard diesel truck (the EPA showed results as high as 60%), with a reduction in CO2 emissions of 30–33%. For an in-depth look at the technology and the key partnership between government and industry that made it possible see my post on

TriplePundit had the exclusive live web feed of the event. You can watch the archived version below.

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How HHV Works:

The Series Hybrid Hydraulic Drivetrain

Further Information:

Tags: HHV, hydraulic+hybrid+vehicle, alternative+fuel+vehicle, national+vehicle+and+fuel+emissions+laboratory, epa


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Thomas Schueneman