Hybrid delivery vans show nearly 20 percent higher fuel economy, study says

Oct 01, 2012

(Phys.org)—The U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE)'s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) recently completed a performance evaluation report that showed significant fuel economy benefits of hybrid electric delivery vans compared to similar conventional vans.

"During the on-road portion of our study, the hybrid vans demonstrated a 13 to 20 percent higher than the conventional vans," said NREL Project Engineer Michael Lammert. "During dynamometer testing, three standard drive cycles were chosen to represent the range of delivery routes. The hybrids showed a 13 to 36 percent improvement in fuel economy and up to a 45 percent improvement in ton-miles-per-gallon. This wide range in fuel economy is largely dependent on drive cycle."
 
The new NREL report—Eighteen-Month Final Evaluation of UPS Second Generation Diesel Hybrid Electric Delivery Vans— details the impact of hybridization on fuel economy and performance and identifies the conditions under which the hybrids offer maximum fuel savings.
 
The NREL team collected and analyzed in-service fuel economy, maintenance, and other vehicle performance data on 11 hybrid and 11 conventional step vans operated by the United Parcel Service (UPS) in Minneapolis. The team also performed dynamometer testing at the Renewable Fuels and Lubricants (ReFUEL) Research Laboratory in Denver.
 
"The reliability of the hybrids was slightly lower, 92.5 percent compared to 99.7 percent, in part due to troubleshooting and recalibration issues related to prototype components," Lammert added. "Differences in per-mile maintenance and operating costs were not statistically significant."
 
The hybrid vans feature : 44 kilowatt electric motors, lithium-ion batteries and that captures energy normally lost during braking to power the electric motor. The comparable conventional vans were approximately the same age and were operated in similar conditions out of the same facility. The two vehicle groups switched route assignments during the study period to provide a balanced review of the vans on the same route.
 
NREL has been working in partnership with UPS for five years to track and evaluate the performance of its hybrid vehicles. The first study, performed in 2008, focused on first-generation hybrid vans operated by UPS in Phoenix. In 2010, UPS deployed 200 second-generation vans to eight U.S. cities, including the 11 under study in Minneapolis. These second-generation hybrids feature more advanced control algorithms and an "engine off at idle" feature that automatically stops and restarts the engine at stoplights and during other short-stop conditions.

Explore further: A platform to help consumers achieve sustainable energy consumption

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

NREL Evaluates UPS Hybrid-Electric Van Performance

Dec 22, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- The U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has collected and analyzed fuel economy, maintenance and other vehicle performance data from UPS’s first generation hybrid diesel ...

Heavy-duty hybrid trucks deliver on fuel economy

Sep 12, 2012

A performance evaluation of Class 8 hybrid electric tractor trailers compared with similar conventional vehicles by the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE's) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) shows significant improvements ...

NREL Estimates U.S. Hybrid Electric Vehicle Fuel Savings

Jun 21, 2007

Hybrid electric vehicles have saved close to 230 million gallons – or 5.5 million barrels – of fuel in the United States since their introduction in 1999, according to a recent analysis conducted at the U. S. Department ...

Software eases flow to fluid power trucks

Dec 24, 2008

Eaton Corporation is using IBM modeling software to develop series hydraulic hybrid systems. Replacing a vehicle’s conventional drive train and transmission, the series hydraulic hybrid (SHH) system promises dramatic fuel ...

Recommended for you

Image: Testing electric propulsion

Aug 20, 2014

On Aug. 19, National Aviation Day, a lot of people are reflecting on how far aviation has come in the last century. Could this be the future – a plane with many electric motors that can hover like a helicopter ...

Where's the real value in Tesla's patent pledge?

Aug 20, 2014

With the much-anticipated arrival next month of electric vehicle manufacturer Tesla's Model S to Australian shores, it's a good time to revisit Tesla's pledge to freely share patents. ...

New type of solar concentrator doesn't block the view

Aug 19, 2014

(Phys.org) —A team of researchers at Michigan State University has developed a new type of solar concentrator that when placed over a window creates solar energy while allowing people to actually see through ...

User comments : 0