U.S. Department of Energy - Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy

Clean Cities

NREL Study: Hybrid Vans Get 20% Higher Fuel Economy

October 3, 2012

The Energy Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) recently completed a performance evaluation report that showed hybrid electric delivery vans had a 13% to 20% higher fuel economy compared to similar conventional vans. The new NREL report, Eighteen-Month Final Evaluation of UPS Second Generation Diesel Hybrid Electric Delivery Vans, details the impact of hybridization on fuel economy and performance and identifies the conditions under which hybrids offer maximum fuel savings.

The NREL team collected and analyzed in-service fuel economy, maintenance, and other vehicle performance data on 11 hybrid and 11 conventional step vans operated by the United Parcel Service (UPS) in Minneapolis. The hybrid vans feature hybrid propulsion systems with 44-kilowatt electric motors, lithium-ion batteries, and regenerative braking, which captures energy normally lost during braking to power the electric motor. See the NREL press release and the complete reportPDF.