Photo courtesy of Lightning Hybrids.

Photo courtesy of Lightning Hybrids.

Lightning Hybrids, developer and manufacturer of hydraulic hybrid systems for medium- and heavy-duty trucks and buses, will introduce the application of its first emission-reducing brake regeneration technology on a walk-in box truck during the South Shore Clean Cities annual meeting in Merrillville, Ind., February 17.

Lightning Hybrids' system on the vehicle, featuring a Ford F-59 chassis and Morgan Olson Route Star walk-in van body, enhances fuel efficiency while significantly reducing emissions, according to the manufacturer. 

To achieve reduced emissions and fuel economy gains, Lightning Hybrids applies a hydraulic system to the driveline of a vehicle to regenerate braking energy, which is stored and used for the next acceleration. The system, which does not have electric batteries, uses this otherwise wasted energy for acceleration, supplementing power from the internal combustion engine to reduce fuel costs for fleet owners and greatly cut emissions. The company's system decreases emissions of nitrogen oxides, the key ingredient in harmful smog, by up to 90 percent and enhances fuel efficiency by up to 30 percent. Additionally, the hybrid system dramatically lengthens brake life and the increased low-end torque improves acceleration.

"Lightning Hybrids is providing the heavy-duty marketplace with the hybrid technology needed to transform fleets to more environmentally friendly operations, while reducing operating costs associated with fuel and maintenance," said Dave Brosky, vice president of sales, Lightning Hybrids. "We are excited to participate in the South Shore Clean Cities event and demonstrate the integral role hybrid systems will play in the quest to enhance work truck efficiency."

As fleet owners continue to seek cleaner, more fuel-efficient vehicles like hybrids, incentive programs are beginning to play a vital role in supporting this transition. Lightning Hybrids' system installed on the Ford F59 is eligible for Drive Clean Chicago's "Drive Clean Truck" voucher program, which provides incentives to help shift diesel fleets in the Chicago area to zero- and low-emission vehicles. Through the voucher program, fleet owners that operate Class 2 to Class 8 trucks can apply for vouchers for $30,000 and up, or 80 percent of the incremental cost, to retrofit existing fleets. Additional states that offer grants and funding for Lightning Hybrids' systems include Colorado, Maryland, and Massachusetts, among others.