PASADENA, CA – FedEx Ground, Purolator, and UPS are evaluating hydraulic hybrid package delivery evaluation vehicles from Freightliner Custom Chassis Corporation (FCCC), Morgan Olson, and Parker Hannifin.

The fleets, which are members of the Hybrid, Electric and Advanced Truck Users Forum (HTUF) Parcel Delivery Working Group, each purchased an evaluation vehicle with assistance from CALSTART through a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). 

The vehicles are the first-of-their-kind to be commercially available. The chassis on the hybrid hydraulic parcel delivery vehicles 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 percent or better fuel economy based on route profile, according to the manufacturer.

“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, UPS director of vehicle engineering, said he is “optimistic that this new technology will perform as well as it did in the test vehicles improving fuel economy and reducing emissions.”

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. 

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. This evaluation will assess an efficient hydraulic hybrid system for the lighter, Class 6 vehicle applications.