UPS places 50 advanced hydraulic hybrids in its fleet in time for holiday rush
LOVELAND, Colo., Sept. 28, 2016 – United Parcel Service, Inc., the world’s largest package delivery company and a provider of supply chain management solutions, recently announced the placement of 50 Lightning Hybrids hydraulic hybrid delivery trucks in the Chicago metro area. The hybrid systems were partially funded by Drive Clean Chicago, a program that aims to accelerate the adoption of alternative fuel vehicles and infrastructure in Chicago.
The first of the hydraulic hybrid systems, made by Colorado-based Lightning Hybrids, were commissioned last week. The hybrid systems are converting Freightliner MT-55s with gasoline engines into cleaner and more fuel efficient delivery trucks and will reduce harmful emissions in Chicago as soon as they are deployed. The hybrid systems provide additional torque and reduce engine stress on the vehicles, allowing UPS to use less expensive gasoline engines rather than diesel engines, substantially reducing NOx emissions in the process. UPS anticipates an ROI of one to two years on these vehicles.
UPS first trialed the Lightning Hybrids product with a six-month pilot in 2014 that demonstrated 100 percent hybrid system uptime and impressed the UPS team with excellent efficiency gains, elegance, and drivability, leading to additional trials, including a trial in the UK, that is currently underway. Fuel efficiency gains ranged from 18 to 34 percent during the pilot.
“We are pleased that our hydraulic hybrid is part of UPS’s ‘Rolling Laboratory,’ which represents world-class sustainable vehicle technologies,” said Tim Reeser, CEO of Lightning Hybrids. ‘We will show such a compelling ROI from these systems that we expect UPS to adopt our product on a worldwide scale. This order, along with other larger customer orders has allowed us to reduce our price substantially, further improving ROI, making it viable even in cases without government subsidies. It is exciting to be part of their efforts to serve their customers with vehicles that support clean air in urban communities.”
In August 2016, UPS achieved its goal more than a year early of driving 1 billion miles in its alternative fuel and advanced technology fleet.
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 vehicle driveline 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.
Lightning Hybrids designs and manufactures the hydraulic hybrid ERS (Energy Recovery System) 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 does not have any batteries, instead safely and efficiently stores energy mechanically in composite hydraulic accumulators, which are a fraction of the cost and weight of batteries. It 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.