NOx Is Reduced by as Much as 90%, Dyno Tests Show
Colorado’s Lightning Hybrids, citing initial results from independent dynamometer testing, is citing decreases in NOx emissions of up to 90% and decreases in carbon dioxide emissions as great as 16% as compared with baseline vehicles without the firm’s parallel hydraulic hybrid drive.
“These results prove that Lightning Hybrids’ system is the right technology to give fleets a fast ROI and the right to brag about making a positive impact on the environment,” Lightning president and co-founder Tim Reeser said in a release.
The HHV/hydraulic hybrid vehicle testing was completed at the SGS Environmental Testing Corp dynamometer facility in Aurora, Colo. Lightning says it’s met or exceeded all California Air Resources Board heavy-duty hybrid emissions certification standards using published test procedures.
Five Drive Cycles Compared
Reeser said he expects “further significant improvements in the next year as we continue to make our system even cleaner, more efficient, and less expensive.”
Instead of the batteries in a hybrid electric vehicle, Lightning uses hydraulic accumulators to gather energy that would, otherwise be lost when braking, applying that energy to boost starting and acceleration.
Testing was performed on a 2013 Ford E-450 with 6.8-liter V-10 and on a 2010 GMC 3500 Savana cutaway with 6.0-liter V-8. Both were first measured without Lightning’s hydraulic hybrid system to provide a baseline with which to compare the results with the hybrid system installed.
The vehicles were tested on the SGS dynamometer using SGS drivers and equipment, Lightning says. Four drive cycles were tested, as well as one specific to a Lightning Hybrids customer:
- Orange County Bus: Developed by West Virginia University to replicate suburban transit bus drive cycles, one of two drive cycles used by CARB for hybrid certification;
- Heavy Duty Urban Dynamometer Driving Schedule, or UDDS: a city drive cycle for heavy-duty vehicles, and the second of two CARB certification drive cycles;
- Braunschweig City Driving Cycle: EU legislative cycle for bus approval;
- Artemis: Developed by 15 EU nations tasked with emissions study for cars; and
- A real world vocational drive cycle based on a customer’s transit routes, “providing Lightning Hybrids the ability to compare test data with actual on-road data/”
According to Reeser, “90% NOx reduction on a gasoline engine is unprecedented for medium-duty hybrids, but think of the benefits when fleets replace their diesel trucks or buses with gasoline or alt fuel vehicles with our hybrid technology – they will be taking a very dirty vehicle off the road and replacing it with a vehicle that is 457% cleaner with more torque than the diesel, and an on-board brake retarder included.
“So fleets are getting more power and lower fuel costs and communities are getting cleaner air which means a better quality of living and lower medical costs.”
Lightning says it has has vehicles in ten fleets in the U.S. and Canada and has orders for vehicles in fleets in the U.S., India, Mexico and England that will be delivered over the next three months. They include medium-duty delivery trucks and shuttle buses and heavy-duty transit and school buses on platforms including Ford, Freightliner, Ashok Leyland, DAF, and Mercedes-Benz.
Lightning says that Massachusetts released incentive funding for clean vehicles and specifically included funding for Lightning’s hydraulic system this month, and that Colorado has passed a clean truck initiative that also specifically includes hydraulic hybrids among new tax incentives for clean and alternative fuel vehicles.
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Source: Lightning Hybrids with Fleets & Fuels follow-up