Around the Block in the First UPS Hydraulic Hybrid Vehicle

The UPS HHV in actionHydraulic Hybrid is “Ready for Prime Time” 

I had a short ride through the streets of Atlanta yesterday in the prototype UPS HHV delivery vehicle (package car). We haven’t heard much about HHV technology, but after yesterday’s press conference in Atlanta, that is likely to change. How does the HHV vehicle work? How can you move a truck around just using hydraulics and a small diesel engine? This short video and illustration offers a good introduction (more detailed information to follow in subsequent posts).

HHV technology was developed by the Environmental Protection Agency’s National Vehicle and Fuel Emissions Laboratory in Ann Arbor, Michigan in partnership with Eaton Corporation under a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement signed in October of 2001. Navistar designed and built the chassis for the vehicle. Road testing by UPS under real world conditions have proven the technology works in real-world conditions. With the first 7 vehicles now on order for deployment throughout 2009, further testing is now possible, leading to the scaling up the concept as one global solution to energy efficiency and emissions reductions in delivery vehicles, shuttle busses, and other short-haul urban duty cycles.  


The UPS HHV in action - ready for prime time

Tom is the founder, editor, and publisher of and the TDS Environmental Media Network. He has been a contributor for Triple Pundit since 2007. Tom has also written for Slate, Earth911, the Pepsico Foundation, Cleantechnia, Planetsave, and many other sustainability-focused publications. He is a member of the Society of Environmental Journalists

6 responses

  1. Hey Ryan,
    Yep – I’ll have lots more info in subsequent posts. I hopes this short post whets our whistle. One of the things that most impressed me yesterday was the potential of public/private partnerships to design, test, and then scale technology like this. Like John Kargul EPA director of Technology Transfer told me yesterday, there are a lot of different ways to move a car or truck down the street. Creating partnerships like this one to develop some of these still unknown and untested technologies, and bringing to the table the best that government and corporate entities can offer can bring a variety of solutions to our energy and transportation challenges, not to mention opportunities to cut business costs and increase efficiency. The power of 3P in action.

  2. Great intro, Tom. Production may be limited to 7 but seriously, this is commercially untested technology, and very cool technology I might add. Who is building the HHVs for UPS? (Perhaps they can help GM get its Volt done.)

    Can you share more about the efficiency gains of the HHV vs. the current UPS truck drivetrain, as well more on the experience of actually riding in the vehicle (by comment or in a future post)?

  3. why have i seen no city busses (nabi or new flyer) trying out this new stuff. it would be great here in phoenix where you see and feel the air?

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