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After 28% Fuel Savings with Hybrid Vans, UPS Orders 200 More

ups hybridThe National Renewable Energy Laboratory has completed its analysis of UPS’s first generation hybrid diesel delivery vans, finding a 28 percent fuel savings.

UPS has been pleased enough with the vans that it has ordered an additional 200 units, according to a press release.

The NREL, which is a division of the Department of Energy, measured the fuel economy, maintenance and other performance data from the vehicles, which are powered by a hybrid system from Eaton Corp.

The hybrid vehicles achieved 13.1 miles per gallon, compared to 10.1 mpg for the conventional diesel vans (see image).

Maintenance of the hybrids cost 8 percent less per mile than for the diesel vans.

However, the hybrid vans came with some bugs. The hybrids had a cumulative uptime average of 95.5 percent, compared to 99.3 percent uptime for the conventional vans.

The 12-month test encompassed the operations of six of these vehicles at a UPS facility in Phoenix. Read the full report here (PDF).

Development of the Eaton hybrid system was funded in part by $7.5 million from the Department of Energy.

UPS has experimented with other forms of hybrid trucks, including a hydraulic hybrid system that uses a Freightliner custom chassis and hydraulic hybrid system from Parker Hannifin Corp.

Meanwhile, Coca-Cola Enterprises has deployed hybrid-electric tractor-trailers in its Ohio operations, according to a press release.

The trucks, which can haul a gross vehicle weight of 55,000 pounds, feature 30 percent improved fuel efficiency when compared to standard tractor trailers.

Coca-Cola Enterprises is on track to add 185 hybrid-electric trucks in 2009, bringing its total hybrid-electric fleet to 327, which it says is the largest in the U.S.

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