April 17, 2012 12:15 ET

Leading Fleets Take Delivery of World's First Commercially Available Hybrid Hydraulic Parcel Delivery Trucks -- "Hybrids Without Batteries"

FedEx Ground, Purolator, and UPS to Evaluate Fuel Savings Estimated 40% or More Using Cutting-Edge New Technology

PASADENA, CA--(Marketwire - Apr 17, 2012) - Members of the Hybrid, Electric and Advanced Truck Users Forum (HTUF) Parcel Delivery Working Group have announced the receipt of their hydraulic hybrid package delivery evaluation vehicles from Freightliner Custom Chassis Corporation (FCCC), Morgan Olson and Parker Hannifin. FedEx Ground, Purolator, and UPS each purchased an evaluation vehicle with assistance from CALSTART through a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).

These are the first-of-their-kind commercially available hybrid hydraulic parcel delivery vehicles. The vehicle chassis includes a Parker hydraulic hybrid drive system, integrated and assembled by FCCC, with bodies installed by Morgan Olson.

Braking energy is recovered and stored in hydraulic accumulators, where it is used to power the truck during acceleration. Parker's onboard controller incorporates an advanced engine-off strategy to minimize unnecessary run time. As a result, fuel use can be reduced by 40% or better fuel economy based on route profile.

"Purolator is excited about the new FCCC truck with Parker hybrid hydraulic technology. We look forward to the improvements to fuel economy and drivability that this new technology brings to the industry and are willing to work with the OEMs to validate these improvements for other fleets to help build business cases to introduce these vehicles into their fleets as well," said Serge Viola, General Manager Fleet/GSE & GLH, Purolator.

Mike Britt, Director of Vehicle Engineering, UPS said, "We are optimistic that this new technology will perform as well as it did in the test vehicles improving fuel economy and reducing emissions."

"Parker is excited to deploy our first three hydraulic hybrid drive systems with the CALSTART-led HTUF Working Group. After recent EPA testing, Parker's system came out best in class compared to similar hybrid systems. We are anxiously awaiting to see real world test results from our three customers: FedEx Ground, Purolator and UPS," said Shane Terblanche, General Manager, Parker's Hybrid Drive Systems Division.

The Parker hybrid drive system installed in these trucks is designed specifically for medium duty, start-stop applications such as parcel delivery. Advancing upon Parker's RunWise© heavy duty system presently available for refuse applications, this medium duty version incorporates an infinitely variable transmission in its design. Power from Parker's hydraulic pump/motors and accumulators is seamlessly blended with engine power depending on driver demand.

"We are very proud to have assembled this world class team of leading manufacturers and fleets to help demonstrate and deploy this exciting new product. The fact that FedEx Ground, UPS, Purolator are interested in testing this technology is a positive statement about the potential of this American-made and manufactured vehicle and technology," said John Boesel, President and CEO, CALSTART.

The three package delivery companies will be cooperating with CALSTART and FCCC to gather data on the operation of the vehicles to establish expected fuel economy improvements and reduced brake and engine maintenance costs. Although hydraulic hybrid systems have shown promise over the last few years, commercial deployment of these systems has been limited to Class 8 refuse trucks. This evaluation will assess an efficient hydraulic hybrid system for the lighter, Class 6 vehicle applications. Successful demonstration could pave the way for additional purchases of hydraulic hybrid vehicles throughout the trucking industry.

The UPS vehicle will be on display at Fortune Brainstorm Green, April 17-18 in Laguna Niguel, California.

About HTUF

Hybrid, Electric and Advanced Trucks Users Forum (HTUF) is a national, multi-year, user-driven program to speed the commercialization of medium- and heavy-duty hybrid, electric and high-efficiency technologies. It is operated by CALSTART in partnership with the U.S. Army's National Automotive Center (NAC), with project support from the Hewlett Foundation and the U.S. Department of Energy. HTUF has been very successful in helping launch the first production of hybrid and electric trucks and is credited with cutting up to two years from product development. Since 2001, HTUF has helped educate and create first markets; investigated and analyzed the most cost-effective applications for cutting-edge technologies; helped make a business case for hundreds of thousands of American jobs and has crafted a successful collaborative model with engaged Working Groups to make these strides.

HTUF is one of several national programs operated by CALSTART, North America's leading clean transportation technologies and solutions consortium. CALSTART is a non-profit organization which manages an array of programs designed to accelerate the growth of the entire clean transportation technology industry. For more information, visit

Contact Information

  • Contact:
    Mary Kathryn Campbell
    Tel: (626) 744-5602