Photo courtesy of Lightning Hybrids

Photo courtesy of Lightning Hybrids

UPS has added 50 Freightliner MT-55 hydraulic hybrid delivery trucks to the Chicago metro area.

Lightning Hybrids converted the vehicles from having gasoline engines to running on the hybrid systems, which were partially funded by Drive Clean Chicago, according to Lightning Hybrids.

The system from Lightning Hybrids is a 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.

The hybrid systems provide additional torque and reduce engine stress on the vehicles.

UPS anticipates an ROI of one to two years on these vehicles. The delivery company first trialed the Lightning Hybrids product with a six-month pilot in 2014 that demonstrated 100% hybrid system uptime. Fuel efficiency gains ranged from 18% to 34% 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.

Lightning Hybrids designs and manufactures the hydraulic hybrid ERS (Energy Recovery System) for medium- and heavy-duty fleet vehicles.

Originally posted on Automotive Fleet