Road tests conducted by BAE Systems reveal that commercial trucks powered by the company’s green HybriDrive parallel hybrid electric propulsion system use 30% less fuel than trucks running on traditional diesel engines, according to a company announcement.

The average fuel economy improvement of 30% on trucks powered by the parallel system was experienced across a range of standard driving cycles. However, the system performed best on stop-and-go cycles where average speed is between five and 20 miles per hour, the company said, making it a good choice for refuse collection and delivery trucks.

The parallel system is designed for heavy-duty truck applications that include refuse collection, construction, pickup and delivery, and utility vehicles. It draws upon the company’s HybriDrive series system, currently deployed in more than 3,500 transit buses across the globe.

Based on duty cycles and fuel usage, a truck owner who uses the HybriDrive parallel system can expect payback within three to five years, according to the announcement.

“Our HybriDrive parallel development program is on track. We continue to diligently and rigorously validate all the performance requirements through actual hardware testing,” said Mike Mekhiche, program director for BAE Systems HybriDrive parallel systems. “Our fuel economy and overall system performance are excellent and will add real value to our customers in their day-to-day operations in terms of increasing productivity, and considerably lowering fleet life cycle costs while supporting a greener and cleaner environment.

“With power and torque ratings three times those of available products in the marketplace today, the superior fuel economy of the HybriDrive parallel propulsion system positions it to lead the marketplace,” Mekhiche said.

BAE Systems is developing truck systems with Dennis Eagle in the U.K., and Crane Carrier Co. in the United States, to be rolled out in 2012. The HybriDrive parallel system will integrate with “big-bore” and heavy-duty diesel engines. The system is suitable for vehicles from 19,500 to 80,000 lbs. total gross vehicle weight.