Three hybrid hydraulic package delivery trucks have been sent to FedEx Ground, Purolator, and UPS for evaluation in cooperation with CALSTART and Freightliner Custom Chassis Corp. (FCCC).

Built on an FCCC chassis and utilizing a Morgan Olson body, the vehicles are powered by a Parker Hannfin hydraulic hybrid drive system. According to Parker Hannifin, a grant from the U.S. Dept. of Energy and additional assistance from CALSTART helped fund the prototype program, which marks the first time this technology has been deployed on a Class 6 truck.

The vehicles use braking energy recovered and stored in hydraulic accumulators to power the truck during acceleration. Parker Hannifin’s onboard controller incorporates an advanced engine-off strategy to minimize unnecessary run time, resulting in a 40% or more improvement in fuel economy based on route profile.