The first of the 50 vehicles are to be placed in Dallas in June 2006. UPS expects the vehicles to deliver up to a 35 percent improvement in fuel economy over its conventionally-powered vehicles, in addition to dramatic decreases in vehicle emissions.
Eaton's hybrid power system used in both the Freightliner and International chassis will employ an Eaton automated transmission, an integrated motor/generator and advanced technology batteries. The Freightliner Custom Chassis truck will use a Mercedes-Benz MBE 904 four-cylinder diesel engine, and the International Truck and Engine vehicle will employ an International VT-275 six-cylinder diesel.
In September 2002, Eaton was awarded a $7.1 million contract to lead a project in the Advanced Heavy Hybrid Propulsion System (AHHPS) Program sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy and its National Renewable Energy Laboratories (NREL). Through this program Eaton, in partnership with International Truck and Engine, integrated a heavy hybrid propulsion system for installation in a prototype UPS urban package delivery vehicle.
Eaton will provide its hybrid power systems to Freightliner and International for installation in a standard production line process at the truckmakers' plants. Unique software calibrations have been created for each chassis and engine configuration to ensure optimum drivability, performance and fuel efficiency.