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First Hydraulic Hybrid Diesel Urban Delivery Truck Hits The Road

Eaton Corporation and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) showcased the first-ever hydraulic hybrid diesel urban delivery vehicle August 14. Initial testing of the large UPS truck showed a 60-70% improvement in fuel economy and a 40% reduction in carbon dioxide emissions.

The EPA's patented hydraulic hybrid diesel truck will see annual savings of more than 1,000 gallons per year per truck says the EPA.

The vehicle was developed through a partnership between EPA, Eaton Corp., UPS, International Truck and Engine Corporation and the U.S. Army. EPA unveiled the truck in Washington, D.C. in late June. UPS will begin testing the vehicle this year on the road in the Detroit area and then will bring it to Cleveland for additional testing.

"Eaton is proud to be working with the EPA and our industry partners in bringing this leading-edge technology to market," said Alexander M. Cutler, Eaton chairman and CEO.

Eaton is also partnering with EPA through the agency's Green Suppliers Network (GSN) program. Eaton has joined a group of large manufacturers committed to sharing both manufacturing techniques and environmental process improvements with its small-and medium-sized suppliers to make them more competitive and environmentally involved as partners in the program. Eaton plans to involve 20 suppliers from Ohio in the first phase of the program as GSN partners.

In the new hydraulic hybrid truck, a high-efficiency diesel engine is combined with a unique hydraulic propulsion system to replace the conventional drivetrain and transmission. The vehicle uses hydraulic pump motors and hydraulic storage tanks to recover and store energy, similar to what is done with electric motors and batteries in hybrid electric vehicles. Vehicle fuel economy is increased in three ways: braking energy that normally is wasted is recovered and reused; the engine is operated more efficiently; and the engine can be shut off when not needed, such as when stopped or decelerating.

"This breakthrough technology is good for the environment, good for our economy and good for the nation's energy security," Margo T. Oge, director of EPA's Office of Transportation and Air Quality said. "This dynamic partnership with companies such as Eaton, UPS, International and the Army signals strong interest in the commercial viability of this technology."

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