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NREL Evaluating Performance of UPS Hybrids

The US Department of Energy’s (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) is collecting and analyzing maintenance, fuel economy and other vehicle performance data from 50 UPS hybrid diesel step delivery vans powered by an Eaton Corp. electric hybrid propulsion system.

Funded by the DOE’s Advanced Vehicle Testing Activity (AVTA), NREL’s Fleet Test & Evaluation (FT&E) team is performing a 12-month evaluation of some of these 50 hybrid vans at UPS locations in Dallas and Phoenix.

As part of a year-long demonstration project that started this month, the FT&E team will collect and analyze maintenance, fuel-economy and other vehicle performance data on the vans, which are being used in delivery service. The diesel hybrid delivery vans are expected to improve UPS fleet fuel economy and dramatically decrease vehicle emissions, while maintaining the same reliability and overall performance as conventional vehicles. NREL will publish its findings in fall 2008.

Eaton Corp. provided the hybrid propulsion systems for the vehicles, which were manufactured by Workhorse Custom Chassis and Freightliner Corp. The hybrid system employs an Eaton automated transmission, an integrated motor/generator and advanced lithium ion batteries. The Freightliner model has a Mercedes-Benz MBE 904 four-cylinder diesel engine, while the Workhorse model features an International VT-275 six-cylinder diesel.

The Eaton hybrid system was developed in part under a $7.5 million, 33-month contract from DOE’s Advanced Heavy Hybrid Propulsion System program



Mike L

Its great to see the number of options for a greener commercial fleet increasing on a daily basis. I further like the fact that its not one killer app - its being tested and implemented with a vast array of technologies, including BEVs like Phoenix Motorocars, HDV BEVs like the Smith and the Newton, Diesel Hybrids from Eaton, Odyne's PHEVs, etc... Add to that proposed regulations at ports and with state-wide fleets for cleaner emissions, and I feel like its only a matter of a couple of years before fleets lead the way to a cleaner and more efficient mode of transportation. Imagine not hearing the garbage truck every morning, or the constant stop/start from all those delivery trucks going up and down the streets...

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