Lightning Hybrids, which makes hydraulic hybrid systems for medium- and heavy-duty trucks and buses, is debuting the use of its emission-reducing brake regeneration technology on a walk-in van.

The debut will take place during the South Shore Clean Cities annual meeting in Merrillville, Indiana, on Feb. 17. Lightning Hybrids' system on the vehicle, featuring a Ford F59 chassis and Morgan Olson Route Star walk-in van body, enhances fuel efficiency while significantly reducing emissions.

Lightning Hybrids applies a hydraulic system to the driveline of a vehicle to regenerate braking energy, which is stored and used for the next acceleration. The system, which does not have electric batteries, uses this otherwise wasted energy for acceleration, supplementing power from the internal combustion engine to reduce fuel costs for fleet owners and greatly cut emissions.

The company says the system decreases emission of nitrogen oxides, the key ingredient in harmful smog, by up to 90% and enhances fuel efficiency by up to 30%. It also dramatically lengthens brake life, and the increased low-end torque improves acceleration.

One business that recently integrated a Ford F59 into its fleet is AmeriPride Services Inc., a leading North American uniform and linen supply company, and this is the first hydraulic hybrid in the organization's fleet of approximately 1,900 vehicles. Lightning Hybrids partnered with Morgan Olson, an industry leader in customizing walk-in vans, to incorporate its hybrid system into the Ford F59 chassis.

Lightning Hybrids' system installed on the Ford F59 is eligible for Drive Clean Chicago's "Drive Clean Truck" voucher program, which provides incentives to help shift diesel fleets in the Chicago area to zero- and low-emission vehicles. Through the voucher program, fleet owners that operate Class 2 to Class 8 trucks can apply for vouchers for $30,000 and up, or 80 percent of the incremental cost, to retrofit existing fleets. Additional states that offer grants and funding for Lightning Hybrids' systems include Colorado, Maryland and Massachusetts, among others.

In addition to the South Shore Clean Cities event, the company will showcase the Ford F59 hybrid at the upcoming National Truck Equipment Association's annual Work Truck Show in Indianapolis from March 4-6.