A nearly half-million dollar grant will be used to bring Eden Prairie, Minn.-based Eaton Corp.’s fuel-saving Hydraulic Launch Assist technology (HLA) to a south- Texas fleet of urban shuttle busses to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The shuttle bus emissions initiative was made possible by a $499,974 New Technology Research and Development (NTRD) Grant awarded by the Houston Advanced Research Center (HARC). The grant, announced by HARC program director Rudy Smaling, builds on a highly successful 2006 project in which Eaton’s HLA systems were installed on 12 refuse trucks under a State of Texas New Technology Research and Development Grant.

“This is an important technology,” Smaling said. “It cuts exhaust emissions and fuel costs, making it possible for both operators and the environment to come out ahead. The refuse trucks delivered fuel savings of 25 to 28%, and we fully expect similar savings from the shuttle bus application.”

Eaton’s HLA system is a regenerative braking system that captures and stores the vehicle’s kinetic energy rather than dissipating it as heat. Braking energy is stored in pressurized accumulators and then used to help accelerate the vehicle. The HLA system is an ideal hybrid technology for vehicles with duty cycles requiring frequent starts and stops because it efficiently captures and recycles energy using relatively simple, highly-durable components that are easily integrated into conventional drivetrains.

For information, visit www.eaton.com/hydraulics.