BusinessWeekOnline, Sept. 18, 2006, has a rather skeptical article about hydraulic hybrids as described in a previous post. Eaton and the Environmental Protection Agency teamed up with United Parcel Service to put hydraulic delivery trucks on the road. In tests, the prototypes get upwards of 50% better fuel economy.
Inventor Tom Kasmer has failed to connect with a big carmaker so far, but his hybrid approach, known as a hydristor, has attracted interest from Bobcat Co., a construction equipment maker.
Trucks may be where the technology is most worthwhile may really prove its value. Eaton's has developed a system for garbage trucks with which they could make up to nine stops in a row running on stored hydraulic power alone.
A GM spokesman dismissed the fuel savings and said that such systems were prone to hydraulic fluid leaks and they are very noisy.