Washington, D.C. – New diesel hybrid delivery vans operated by courier company UPS showed a 28.9 per cent fuel economy improvement and 15 per cent lower costs per mile compared with conventional vehicles, according to a new report by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).

The DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory collected and analyzed fuel economy, maintenance and other vehicle performance data from UPS’s first-generation hybrid diesel step delivery vans. The vehicles outperformed conventional vehicles in a 12-month evaluation of six vans at a UPS location in Phoenix, Arizona, while maintaining similar reliability and operational performance.

The vehicles were manufactured by Freightliner, using hybrid propulsion systems provided by Eaton Corporation. Both the Freightliner hybrid and the conventional models used a Mercedes-Benz MBE 904 four-cylinder diesel engine. UPS has recently ordered an additional 200 Eaton hybrid electric-powered vans.

The Eaton hybrid system was developed in part under a previous US$7.5 million, 33-month contract from DOE’s Advanced Heavy Hybrid Propulsion System program.

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