UPS rolls out trucks with new hybrid tech

UPS has unveiled some new delivery trucks that use a hydraulic-based hybrid technology that can increase fuel efficiency by 60-70% during in-town driving. The technology was apparently designed by the EPA in conjunction with an outfit called FEV Engine Technology. I wish there was more detail in the articles I found about how exactly this works, but it seems it gets the energy from braking. I am very, very curious now, especially since these trucks are diesel – which means they could be run on biodiesel, making them pollute even less.

This is what it is going to take to bring “greener” transportation technology – major corporations fed up with how much they have to pay in fuel costs, pushing for and financing new technologies. You and I bitching won’t move a damn thing, because the oil companies feel they have us in a chokehold, and while the car manufacturers continue to collude with them, they almost do. But when other big business bankrolls the research, they won’t be able to control it so easily.

If this new hydraulic technology is anywhere near affordable, I hope it will find its way into mainstream, consumer trucks. My mega-huge, old Suburban produces about 60% of the amount of pollution that a Toyota Prius does, because I run it on biodiesel. If tech like this were built into it, that number would be more like 25 or 30%.

Of course, I’ll have to wait until more is published on this before I can really get behind it. Every alternative seems to have a drawback. I suspect the drawback on this one will be price.


~ by mattbear on August 10, 2006.

6 Responses to “UPS rolls out trucks with new hybrid tech”

  1. You seem to insinuate that bitching won’t do a damn thing. I guess I’ll have to try a new strategy, and that may involve deficating on various flags and/or ending the career of Kathy Griffin.

  2. Please, please, if you have a way to end the career of Kathy Griffin, DO IT!

  3. You seem to be using “pollute” very loosely, because I don’t understand how a Suburban gets 60% less pollution than a Prius. Biodiesel is good because it’s low sulfur and it takes carbon from the air instead of releasing stuff stored in the ground. Biodiesel results in less net CO2, but this is rarely referred to as pollution (a bad thing, but none the less). The low sulfur diesel (including biodiesel) has less pollution compared to regular diesel, but does not have a similar advantage over unleaded. You still have to deal with the fact that the Suburban gets 15-20 mpg while the Prius gets 45-50 mpg, and pollution has been shown to track well with total fuel consumption.

  4. Biodiesel does produce significantly less emissions than both petroleum diesel and gasoline. I may have mistated slightly, in that the comparisons I have read of emissions were speaking of “net emissions” and not just “tailpipe emissions”, but I contend that biodiesel is still a cleaner alternative.

  5. Biodiesel (and conventional diesel for that matter) does burn cleaner and can produce less of most harmful byproducts compared to regular unleaded. However, I don’t think the difference is enough to counteract burning 5 gallons of diesel vs 2 gallons of unleaded. Fuel mileage is still an important factor to take into account.

  6. I do take that into account in my math. And the Suburban gets about 1/3 the mileage of a Prius, not 1/5. Most of the documentation I’ve seen shows biodiesel producing only about 22% of the emissions of gas. 22×3=66%, and when you consider that on the open road I’m getting better than 1/3 the mileage…I was roughing it out.

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