Hydraulic hybrid bus introduced, receives kudos


Back in the office just a few days and playing catch up on some cool news. I've written about Lightning Hybrids Inc.'s (LHI) hydraulic hybrid drivetrain many times in the past, so wanted to share the good news that the Loveland, Colo. company's new fuel-efficient hydraulic hybrid shuttle bus was recognized for its "Most Innovative New Technology" at BusCon in Chicago this morning.

The vehicle, a 2012 Ford E-450 23-passenger shuttle bus with a hydraulic hybrid system, was available for rides along Navy Pier during the event, which is said to be North America’s biggest bus show.
LHI says that this bus, the first hydraulic hybrid shuttle bus on the road, gets up to 40% better fuel economy than a non-hybrid because it regenerates braking energy — and it has more power for acceleration and stopping.  The system provides a 2 to 3 year payback for stop-and-go drive cycles based on fuel and brake savings.

According to a press release from last week,  “This is the first hydraulic hybrid shuttle bus on the road and we’re excited to show it off at BusCon. Surprisingly, everyone who has test driven comments more on the extra acceleration power and better braking than the fuel savings.  The LHI system is clearly a great safety feature in addition to a fuel saving solution,”stated Tim Reeser, LHI’s Co-Founder and President.  
Lightning Hybrids has partnered with Davey Coach Sales of Sedalia, Colorado, to sell the retrofitted shuttle buses.  
Lightning Hybrids has been working on the hydraulic hybrid system since September 2008.  It is available for heavy duty Ford and GM vehicles – work trucks, shuttle buses, utility vehicles – both new as well as retrofit to vehicles currently in fleets.
For more information please call (800) 223-0740 ext. 102 or email bonnie@lightninghybrids.com.

Discuss this Blog Entry 2

Grigoriy Epshteyn (not verified)
on Sep 14, 2012

The Hydraulic Hybrid (HH) is inevitable next step in the powertrain evolution.
As an inventor of the New Modular Hydraulic Powertrain (MHP) (See Google: Grigoriy Epshteyn Patents) I would like to introduce my stunning innovation for partnering in realization.
The patented in U.S., Japan and China MHP includes Any Power Single Cylinder Omnivorous Diesel engine with coaxially build-in supercharger and pump fastened by valve plate to standard hydrostatic motor driving car without hoses and pipes. Engine piston fastened to pump’s plunger. Swash plate synchronizing mechanism provides fully balanced opposite motion of engine and supercharger pistons, continuously variable displacement (CVD) and continuously variable compression ratio (CVCR) with about three time greater fuel economy.

Such impressive number confirms the University of Michigan Automotive Research Center
(see http://me.engin.umich.edu/autolab/Publications/P2009_10.htm).
This research got a result of 77.68 mpg on the highway and 46.50 mpg in city fuel consumption for a mid-size passenger car due to the CVD gasoline engine with the following conclusion: “The advanced powertrain configuration investigated in this work is a high performance option for the mid-size passenger vehicle. Therefore, while predict fuel economy improvements are impressive, they do not represent the ultimate potential.” and the conclusion continues: “…and possible benefits of using a variable compression ratio is apparent”.

The MHP diesel has additional benefits and, for example, the existent mid-size car like Ford “Taurus” with 90 mpg is possible by retrofitting only engine and automatic transmission!

E-mail: greteyn@gmail.com

Lightning Hybrids (not verified)
on Oct 17, 2012

Hello Justajo and Mary -

We finished the hydraulic hybrid car prototype in 2009 and even did some road testing – right when the venture capital market (and everything else) tanked, so we decided to focus on the fleet retrofit because it is a product with high demand in a large market and a viable way to get to revenue.

Who knows if/when we will be able to get back to the car. I hope we will see it again in the next few years because it was a lot of fun!

Thanks for your interest and please let me know if you have any further questions -

Lightning Hybrids

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Alan Hitchcox

Alan joined Hydraulics & Pneumatics in 1987 with experience as a technical magazine editor and in industrial sales. He graduated with a BS in engineering technology from Franklin University and...
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