CNG hydraulic hybrid refuse truck in the Technology Parade – Click above for high-res image gallery
The name John DeLorean is synonymous with the automotive industry. From his days at General Motors, where he turned Pontiac into the automaker's de facto performance division with the creation of the GTO, and, therefore, the muscle car genre in general, to his days running his eponymous car company that gave us the classic stainless steel gullwing wedge that became an iconic time machine through the magic of the movies, DeLorean was at the forefront of the industry for three decades.
The New York sanitation department has just started a year-long evaluation of a hydrostatic regenerative braking (HRB) system on garbage trucks. The system provided by Bosch Rexroth is a hydraulic launch assist system. This is basically a hydraulic mild hybrid system. During braking, a hydraulic pump is driven off the gearbox to pressurize an accumulator. When the vehicle accelerates, the hydraulic pressure is used to drive a hydraulic motor that provides a mechanical assist to the transmission.
Ah, fire. One of humanity's oldest ways to generate energy. Technically, you could generate energy by burning brake pads, as seen in the picture above (thanks, Flickr!), but automotive engineers have managed to come up with a way to use brakes to generate energy without going up in flames. The technology is called regenerative braking and it's the subject of this week's Greenlings.
The Denver International Auto Show opens today and Lightning Hybrids is planning on being there to display their biodiesel hydraulic hybrid prototype, the LH4. If you happen happen to be attending the opening this afternoon, don't be surprised if the slick gray sportster smells a bit like wet paint, since the family-of-engineers-run company was rushing to complete work on the vehicle mere hours before the start. Aside from the hydraulic hybrid system, which they estimate can achieve 100 mpg, the
A small startup company in Loveland, Colorado is working on what it hopes will be the keys to the Automotive X-Prize. Lightning Hybrids is building a pair of vehicles, one with three wheels and the other with four, that use a biodiesel-fueled hydraulic hybrid powertrain. Not a lot of details are available right now, but from what can be gleaned on the website, it appears to be a series hybrid system with a compact 90 hp two-stroke diesel engine paired with a hydraulic drive system. The site list
The California Air Resources Board this week approved $700,000 in grants for demonstration projects to evaluate clean air technology. Advanced Transit Dynamics, Eaton and the Sacramento Municipal Utility District will each receive over $200,000 for projects. Eaton will build a package delivery van using a hydraulic series hybrid system it has developed. Similar systems have also been developed and tested by several other companies. UPS has been running several series hybrid vans for more than tw
The concept of a hydraulic hybrid powertrain is not a new one, and a number of companies have developed prototypes. The latest to show off a vehicle so equipped is Artemis Intelligent Power in the UK. The company has put together a BMW 530i demonstrator using its Digital Displacement pump/motor technology. The layout is very similar, in principal, to that used by FEV on its experimental UPS delivery vans. In this configuration, there is no direct connection between the engine and drive wheels. I
Eaton, a company primarily known for making superchargers that make your vehicle go like stink, but guzzle even more gas, is also in the series hydraulic hybrid (SHH) business. The drive system in a hydraulic hybrid replaces the conventional drivetrain; the engine is effectively rendered a "pump" for the hydraulics, and energy is stored in two different accumulators that then power the wheels. Fuel savings of 50-70% are achieved by the system being much lighter than a traditional drivetrain, alo
Waste Management, the garbage-collecting giant, is adding 4 hydraulic hybrids to its Fort Worth fleet for a bit of field testing. The trucks, which were launched about 6 months ago, are from Peterbilt and use the Eaton Hydraulic Launch Assist (HLA) system to store much of the energy used in braking to help launch the vehicle forward when its time to go again. Not only can the truck reduce its fuel use up to 30 percent, according to William Jackson of Peterbilt, but the hydraulic innovation can d
While UPS is one of the companies that will test a hydraulic hybrid vehicle (HHV) from Hybra-Drive sometime next year, it has already done testing with a similar type truck from Eaton. The initial 18-month trial saw upwards of 50 percent less fuel burned and was positive enough for the delivery giant to order up seven of the HHVs. UPS calculates they see could a 30 percent reduction in CO2 emissions under actual working conditions. The first two trucks will be delivered in early 2009 for the Mi
Score one for the little guys. Hybra-Drive Systems, developers of a hybrid drivetrain for medium and light trucks that uses hydraulics instead of batteries and electric motors, has landed a nice chunk of change from the Michigan 21st Century Jobs Fund. The $3.4 million prize was the largest of 17 handed out and will help the company achieve some of its near-term goals. Earlier this year, they beat out a raft of competitors for the opportunity to build three trucks for UPS, FedEx Ground and Purol
It's not often that a Hummer is pictured here on AutoblogGreen but this particular brute, owned by hydraulic hose and belt supplier Gates, is being converted to a hydraulic hybrid using a system developed by Hybra-Drive. We introduced them to you in '07 and now that they're making some news, we wanted to bring them back. Their set-up, you'll remember, uses a conventional engine to pressurize a hydraulic system to send power to the wheels which is said by the company to reduce fuel consumption by
Many modern vehicles already use hydraulic power for certain functions, namely power steering and brakes. Companies such as UPS, though, see potential in using hydraulic systems as part of a hybrid drivetrain. While nobody is expecting a hybrid hydraulic system to be able to store enough energy to achieve miles-upon-miles of driving distance, the frequent stopping and restarting of some vehicles - delivery trucks, to name just one obvious example - make them excellent candidates for possible hy
Hydraulic hybrids have been on the drawing boards for a few years now, with company's such as FedEx and UPS testing systems as we speak. Even Ford has dabbled in hydraulic technology for their line of mainstream F-Series trucks. One benefit to using hydraulics as opposed to electric hybrids is that more energy can potentially be recaptured when braking, which is then re-used to start the vehicle moving forward again. This idea is put to good use in this concept as well, which was created in just
At the SAE World Congress, FEV is displaying a number of vehicles that they have contributed to recently including a diesel powered version of the new Chrysler Sebring and the Lincoln MKR concept. Perhaps the most interesting vehicle is a large brown UPS delivery van. This is no ordinary UPS truck though. This one has a series hybrid drivetrain, but even that is different. Unlike the Chevy Volt or the Ford Airstream/HySeries Edge, this van has no batteries for energy storage or electric motors.
A diesel-hydraulic passenger car that gets 80 mpg? A hybrid garbage truck? These are two vehicles built and tested by the EPA in recent years, and it is finally time for one of their prototypes to make it to the streets. The first will be the garbage truck, which is 30 percent more fuel efficient. The hydraulic-hybrid-transmission system will be made and sold by Eaton Corp. and will be installed in garbage trucks by Peterbilt. Peterbilt has already begun trying to line up sales of the trucks and