Parker Hannifin Corp. and FedEx Ground will test a Class 6 vehicle employing hybrid hydraulic technology they said should improve fuel mileage greater than 50% while reducing engine pollution.

The new vehicle will rely on a series hybrid hydraulic drive that eliminates the conventional transmission along with its weight and maintenance, while improving drive train power density, according to Joseph Kovach, Parker’s vp of technology and innovation for hydraulics. A working demo vehicle is projected to be available for FedEx Ground within the next 12 months, he added.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), as part of a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA), will continue providing Parker additional technical assistance in the development of the vehicle as it has for four years, noted Kovach, which includes in-kind engineering services, test equipment and facilities. He added that initial EPA simulation modeling of city driving confirms greater than 50% potential improvement in fuel mileage efficiency.