Lightning Hybrids, Loveland, Colo., a manufacturer of hydraulic hybrid retrofit systems for shuttle bus and other medium-duty vehicles, has announced a partnership with National Fleet Hybrids to sell, install and distribute its hydraulic hybrid retrofit systems throughout New England and the Mid-Atlantic.
Lightning Hybrids, which started out designing a hydraulic hybrid system for a small sports sedan, refocused its efforts several years ago on increasing efficiency for fleets of medium-duty trucks and buses. The company created and manufactures its hybrid drive system in Loveland and was recognized last year at BusCon in Chicago for its “Most Innovative New Technology.” The company’s drivetrain system is also being used in the city of Loveland’s bus fleet as well as on the Colorado State University campus.
The systems are designed to save fleets millions of dollars a year in fuel costs by providing fuel mileage increases of up to 40%. In addition it greatly reduces greenhouse gas emissions.
The hybrid design applies hydraulic drive system to a vehicle’s driveline to regenerate braking energy. Two or three high-efficiency hydraulic pumps and a lightweight accumulator (that the company designed several years ago and then sold last year) store energy. Upon acceleration, the pumps become motors that use the stored energy in the accumulator to provide torque to power the wheels. Rather than wasting braking energy as heat, the system uses that energy in the internal combustion engine.
National Fleet Hybrids received a demonstration bus with the Lightning Hybrids system installed, a Ford E-450 shuttle bus, earlier this month. It is available for test drives.
“This partnership with National Fleet Hybrids brings our efficient technology to an area of the U.S. with millions of trucks and buses in fleets that need to save fuel and cut emissions. National Fleet Hybrids is known for their expertise in the fleet market and we’re excited to have that vote of confidence in our product,” said Tim Reeser, President and Co-Founder of Lightning Hybrids.
National Fleet Hybrids is a wholly owned subsidiary of National Van Builders, Inc., a manufacturer of vans and shuttles. The company recognized its customers’ need for greater fuel economy and lower maintenance costs, and formed an alliance with Lightning Hybrids to provide the cutting edge hybrids technology that offers significant savings in fuel economy and brake wear.
“The number one concern we hear from all commercial vehicle operators is how to manage fuel costs,” said Glen Perlman, National Fleet Hybrids President. “The Lightning Hybrids system will provide up to a 40% increase in fuel economy and up to an 80% brake savings. The system literally pays for itself in a short period of time. It really makes sense for any operator looking to cut costs by increasing vehicle efficiency.”
National Fleet Hybrids