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Denali National Park to use Lightning Hybrids hydraulic hybrid buses to transport park visitors

Denali National Park and Preserve in Alaska, centered on Denali (formerly known as Mount McKinley), the highest mountain in North America, has taken delivery of its first two hydraulic hybrid vehicles from Colorado-based Lightning Hybrids.

Denali National Park - Lightning Hybrids Shuttle Bus - Freightliner
Denali National Park - Lightning Hybrids Shuttle Bus - Freightliner

The shuttle buses, one a Chevrolet model (top above) and the other Freightliner (bottom above), will transport park visitors along the 14-mile paved section of the scenic 92-mile long Denali Park Road at the entrance to the park. The road is the only road in the 6-million-acre park. It runs parallel to the Alaska Range and travels through low valleys and high-mountain passes.

The National Park Service has a long-standing commitment to using advanced clean technology in their fleet vehicles. Our hydraulic hybrid systems work well in harsh environments, and will help the park service to reduce emissions and save fuel.

—David Brosky, vice president for sales of Lightning Hybrids

The system from Lightning Hybrids is a patented, parallel hydraulic hybrid system that has no electric batteries. Instead, it applies a hydraulic system to the driveline of a vehicle to regenerate braking energy. Hydraulic pumps and a lightweight accumulator brake the vehicle, store the braking energy, and then use that stored energy to provide power to the wheels. In doing so fuel is saved and harmful emissions are cut.

The buses were sold by Colonial Equipment Company on the GSA schedule.

Lightning Hybrids designs and manufactures the hydraulic hybrid Energy Recovery System (ERS) for medium- and heavy-duty fleet vehicles which provides fuel efficiency by regenerating braking energy, provides safer braking and more power for acceleration, and decreases greenhouse gas emissions. The ERS can be installed on new vehicles as well as retrofitted on vehicles already in service. It is sold through a network of dealers and upfitters.

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