Symposium to focus on climate, energy impacts on US military
PetroAlgae partners with Haldor Topsøe for renewable fuels based on biomass

EPA places Parker Hannifin hydraulic hybrid technology on emerging technologies list

RunWise features a cradle design for packaging mechanical, hydraulic, and electrical components to facilitate installation, testing, and servicing. Click to enlarge.

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has placed the RunWise Advanced Series Hybrid Drive (earlier post) from Parker Hannifin Corporation on the National Clean Diesel Campaign’s Emerging Technologies List. EPA’s Emerging Technologies Program provides an opportunity to foster the development of advanced technologies to reduce emissions from the fleet of heavy-duty diesel engines by providing funding to develop and evaluate these technologies in the field.

Key components of Parker RunWise include the engine, primary pump, secondary drive pump/motors, accumulators, and Parker’s proprietary Power Drive Unit (PDU). Parker’s RunWise Advanced Series Hybrid Drive is capable of reducing fuel use and emissions by as much as 50% depending upon the application and duty cycle and is the only drivetrain technology on the list.

Being placed on the Emerging Technologies List gives fleet owners the opportunity to obtain federal funding to test the technology on their vehicle fleets and for Parker to pursue full EPA verification. This in-use testing can further validate existing field results in pre-production units that indicate that our RunWise technology is the best technology available for reducing fuel use and carbon emissions in heavy start, stop duty cycles such as in refuse vehicles.

—Jeff Cullman, Group President, Hydraulics for Parker Hannifin

Developed and tested with support from the EPA at its National Vehicle and Fuel Emissions Laboratory in Ann Arbor, Michigan, the technology is already in use on refuse vehicles in communities in South Florida and cities across the country are considering the new system. Eleven trucks have been purchased by the Cities of Hialeah, Miami and Miami Dade County.

Danny Diaz, Director of Fleet Management for Miami Dade County who purchased six Autocar E3 refuse vehicles equipped with the RunWise technology, said the system is currently delivering a 45% reduction in fuel consumption.

Parker’s RunWise Advanced Series Hybrid Drive can recover as much as 70% of the energy typically lost during braking and reuse it to power the vehicle. It uses a two-speed hydrostatic drive combined with a mechanical direct drive that allows the vehicle to optimize performance at low and high speeds.

United Parcel Service (UPS) and Fed Ex have become the first companies to order a variation on the technology for use on delivery vehicles scheduled to be on the road in 2011. Parker is developing further advancements in this technology on advanced bus and terminal tractor platforms.



Mechanical contraptions from Leonardo da Vinci era? Could have been done 50-100+ years ago but it would still have to go shortly in favor of future extended range electrified vehicles.



I disagree. Range extended electrified vehicles are particularly expensive for delivery trucks, trash trucks and the kinds of heavy vehicles with many starts and stops that hydraulic hybrids are best suited to enhance. All the problems with batteries are multiplied when the vehicle weighs 2-10 tons, as if often the case with UPS vans and trash trucks. Also, this obviates the need for rare earths, and is a pretty clean retrofit to the existing fleet. This goes after vehicles that get the worst mileage and makes a large difference in absolute dollars that is more likely to justify the cost of a retrofit.


"can recover as much as 70% of the energy typically lost during braking and reuse it to power the vehicle"

That is good performance and efficiency.


Future batteries will have extremely quick wireless charge/discharge capabilities, similar to current ultra caps, will be able to handle very high power bursts and give many years of trouble free operations. Associated e-motors will be 96%+ efficient and will be available in many different sizes and torque to satisfy most light and heavy applications.

Why would future vehicles have to rely on troublesome mechanical hydraulic systems and ICE?


Mechanical and hydraulic hybrid systems have the potential to be more efficient than electric hybrid systems. That's why future vehicles will use them. Most troublesome in modern vehicles are the electric systems, not mechanic or hydraulic systems. Why would we want more trouble if we can avoid it?


I do not agree with Peter XX. Please check with your garage or watch which parts they are replacing most of the time and you may change your mid.


" Future batteries will have "
I have been hearing this for years. So far very sad progress after of billions in investment. Batteries have 1/10th the Wh/kg of a gal of gas.
If this tech that can be delivered now and save fuel now and reduce emissions now I am very on board because it works. Trucks, vans and cars alike should implement this tech. Lets see if we cant get 60MPG in city and highway.

If we push this tech farther using a constant velocity engine to supply pumps and a hydraulic drive train we can tune ICE engines to be more efficient and get more mpg NOW not in 5 years or 10 years. Can we retrofit older cars and still have a zero to 60 thats respectable.

With gas over 3.50 a gal we need solutions that work today. Bring IT ON I cant wait for Graphene to mature or some magical unknown battery chemistry to show up to save the day. Again if it works Deliver !!


I agree that we need solutions now, that is why I favor synthetic gasoline from natural gas now, the Open Fuel Standard and NG/DME for trucks all made from natural gas, coal and biomass.

The U.S used to produce almost 10 million barrels per day and now produces about 6 million. We use twice as much oil and 5 times more is imported than in 1970 when we hit peak oil production. Time is wasting and we have no more time to waste.


CB: Batteries do not have to have the same power/enery density as gasoline because ICE vehicles are only 18% efficient and BEVs are about 90% i.e. a 5:1 ratio. By the time future batteries reach about 500 Wh/Kg they will start competing favorably with liquid fuels. Latter on, when they reach 1000 Wh/Kg they will leave liquid fuel vehicles far behind.

Resistance is futile.


Harvey I was compensating for loss in an ice. From the top of my head its 12000 WH/kg and batteries are at 250 WH/kg. This doesn't include thr fact batteries go bad need special disposal and are very very expensive. I currently have higher hope for graphene super capcitors than li ion batteries. The tech is just so far from delivering without a major breakthrough.


I am familiar with garages. I have had a couple of cars in my life. Much to your surprise, I have replaced batteries more often than combustion engines. In fact, I have only once rebuilt an engine for my own car. It was in those days when I was a poor student and could not afford a new car. The only part I have replaced in my current car was an electric component.

BTW there are no 90% efficient BEVs. Give me a reference to a study, which claims that.

For the participants on this site to consider…
It would be interesting if people on this site once in a while could stick to the topic of the article. May I remind you that it was about hydraulic hybrids this time? As soon as the topic is anything else than BEVs, PHEVs or HEVs, someone finds something negative to concentrate on. Thus, the debate is often focused on something else that the current topic. So please, tell us what you think about hydraulic hybrids. It would be interesting to know…


First I am all for Hydraulic. Makes a lot of sense. Know proven tech that works in cold or heat and can be delivered ASAP.

I would love to see several versions of this tech. After market retrofits.
New models with lower horse power engines (like 30 or 40hp ICE) in conjunction with a completely hydraulic drive train using accumulators for acceleration.

From reading the net there is a Ford F150 Truck which is supposed to get 40mpg in the city.
Anything that big getting averaging 40mpg is big news.
So BRING on hydraulic tech.


Et al:

I remember the days when Citroen had a terrific hydraulic suspension, while it worked. Owners got tired to find their hydraulic suspension Citroen flat down without enough hydraulic pressure every other morning.

I also remember the days when most large airplanes used multiple hydraulic systems. Todays airplanes use more efficient, more reliable electrified systems.

I also remember the days when cars used hydraulic steering, brakes etc. Recent vehicles use improved, more efficient, more reliable electric ancillaries.

I also remember the days of slow troublesome hydraulic elevators. Almost 100% were replaced with more reliable electric elevators.

This list could go on and on.

With improved batteries and sup caps over the horizon, hydraulic systems are out in the near future.


I dont know who has connections to this company but if I were them I would figure out how to mount this on a bus or cab. There are many cities freaking out on the rise of gas prices and budgets and if you can decrease the need for gas to reduce costs I think you can sell a lot of these things to city and state govts.


Garbage trucks and forklift / crane applications that already require hydraulic systems are obvious fits for hydraulic hybrids using Ice motors but recouperating the energy potential in those apps would also work when E drives are the main power source.There would probably be a benifit to hydraulic only when a substantial existing H system was required regardless.

Otherwise as E sytems become more practical, and no one is currently attempting straight E refuse trucks, but if they do it could be that a hybrid Electric hydraulic can perform better at least for the forseeable future.

Once the battery storage difficulties are overcome, possibly via fuel cell breakthru's then the E motor will be an ubiquitous everyday utility item.


HEVs/PHEVs/BEVs are partly and/or fully electrified vehicles.

Energy storage for the electrified portion is still a challenge but is progressively being resolved. Future higher performance batteries and/or ultra caps will negate the need of on board mechanical contraptions such as ICE, flywheels, compressed air or fluid etc.

Even higher efficiency but more complex fuel cells will have a difficult time to find industry wide application outside larger PHEVs (buses, trucks, heavy machines, tractors etc) but they may, if light and cheap enough and dedicated fuel is available..

Light weight, lower cost, quick charge/discharge 100 Kwh e-storage pack will be common place by 2020/2025. That should be enough energy for about 700 Km.


Hydraulic systems in excavators, construction machinery etc. are very reliable, although maintenance is often neglected. The two elevators in our office are constantly causing trouble. The need for repair is constant and happens about once every month. A hydraulic one could not be worse, only better. The electric system in my previous Peugeot car had a “meltdown” not once but three times during the first year I had it. It was not a used car; I bought it as brand new. However, the hydraulic brakes never caused any trouble. If hydraulic brakes would be unreliable, we would all die. Mercedes recently tried with electric brakes in the E-class. They have never had so much trouble before and they had to change back to hydraulic brakes in the latest version of the E-class. Fortunate enough for Mercedes, the backup system was fully hydraulic, so brake function was not totally lost. Just imagine what could have happened if the backup system would also have been electric… I will not bother to prolong the list of applications where electric systems are troublesome. However, with this background, I would not be afraid to buy a car with a hydraulic hybrid drive system. HarveyD must be one of the few living people on this earth who think that electric systems are more reliable than the alternatives.

Fred H

I agree with Arnold that hydraulic hybrids are sensible when the vehicle already uses a major hydraulic system. To that I would like to add that many trucks have a lot of empty space beneath the cargo area, so that the relatively inexpensive but bulky hydraulic pressure tanks are not as much of a problem as with passenger cars.

I would also like to point out that many all electric forklifts use hydraulic actuator systems because they are often more economical when many powerful actuators are needed.

Therefore, in many applications such as refuse trucks, delivery trucks and forklifts, hydraulic hybrid may be more advantageous in specific cases.

Henry Gibson

Please check out the results achieved by ARTEMIS with their retrofit of an actual automobile. The technology is now owned by BOSCH. Half the energy used in some tests with same sized engine. ..HG..


I agree with Fred. There are probably several applications other than passenger cars, where hydraulic hybrids may get to the market quicker. At least, the level of refinement (e.g. noise), need for space and many other parameters are not so pronounced in those cases as for passenger cars. Thus, the necessary development work before commercialization will also be less. If hydraulic hybrids could find a first nice in those applications, it might also find its way to passenger cars and heavy-duty vehicles later. The necessary effort to get there could also be less if much development work is already made with other sectors in focus. Currently, most development work for passenger cars is focused on electric hybrids and very little is spent on hydraulic hybrids. Therefore, we should not expect too fast results in the near future in this sector.

I definitely agree with Henry about the potential for reductions of energy use. In the best-suited applications it should be greater than for electric hybrids.


Interesting development. I assume that the Eaton hydraulic hybrid systems (HLA) are already on EPA's emerging tech list. Does anyone know?
I know that they have been developing the series hydraulic hybrid systems as well (they showed some at HTUF last year).


Neither of the Eaton technologies (HLA or series) are on the EPA's Emerging Technologies List. Parker's technology is the only powertrain to have ever achieved the list ...very impressive. It certainly says something about the promise of Parker's design. I'd like to see the solid waste collection trucks using this technology in my town. I'd rather see the town spending our tax dollars on infrastructure improvements rather than petroleum!


I was just standing outside my house in Miami watching one of these trucks, very nice looking, dark blue, square and sleek.. very quiet also. This one uses an articulated claw to pick up a special square trash can.. a couple of interesting things:

1. Manpower: the thing is operated by one driver, in a large enclosed glass cabin.. the older classic rear loading trucks had the driver and a couple other guys to pick up the cans

2. Diesel Economy: there was none, the driver was slinging this thing around like a sports car.. I have never seen such a large truck move so quickly. I believe it accelerated much faster than the previous claw trucks, also those trucks would bellow loudly when accelerated, MUCH louder and god know what emissions the diesels were pouring out under that extreme load.

3. I dont know the numbers but it must have substantial savings from the speed and reduction in manpower. The diesel never shut off, it was not given any time for that. The truck cleared a whole block of trashcans in under 30 seconds. I have never seen anything like that before.

4. Expect to see these things in your hometown soon, yes it was that impressive.

The comments to this entry are closed.