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green@work : Magazine : Back Issues : Nov/Dec 2006 : Sustainable Cities


From Supply to Demand
The values of heightened respect for the environment and prudent use of natural resources have become increasingly central in the transportation sector.

special to green@work

For most of the century, the main concern of transport planners and policy makers was the “supply” of transportation, specifically in ensuring that the supporting infrastructure was going to be adequate. It was the supply and efficient operation of vehicles that got attention. Analysts claim most cities overbuilt their physical transportation infrastructures, leading to unsustainable levels of traffic. As a result, the sustainable transportation movement has gradually been gaining in force. However, the movement is still in a minority.

Actual expenditures in the urban transport sector are determined by criteria other than sustainability. But, gradually, there has been a shift in public spending away from building and supply, to management and demand. The values of heightened respect for the environment and prudent use of natural resources have become increasingly central.

The Benefits Of Clean Diesel Technology
Green Diesel Technology® vehicles developed by International Truck and Engine Corp. and IC Corporation, International’s wholly-owned affiliate, are the wave of the future. Through the use and development of new clean technologies, the diesel industry is expected to cross a historic milestone in 2007; one that will put diesel on par with some of the most advanced, clean and energy-saving solutions of the future. In January, U.S. truck and engine manufacturers will begin producing the most advanced, clean technology ever produced for heavy-duty trucks and buses. Ultra-low sulfur diesel (ULSD) fuel will play a leading role in helping cities and states meet strict new air quality goals set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

The EPA’s rules for heavy-duty engines mandate a 90 percent reduction in particulate matter (PM) emissions from today’s standards, and a 95 percent reduction in nitrogen oxides (NOx). The guidelines also require reductions in emissions of hydrocarbons (HC). While NOx standards and HC standards will be phased in between 2007 and 2010, it is feasible to retrofit recent model diesel vehicles with filters to reduce PM. Factors that affect retrofitting include geographic location, duty cycle and engine type. International is examining the best way to provide retrofit options to its customers.

The development of the hydraulic hybrid is the result of a partnership between the EPA, U.S. Army, United Parcel Service (UPS), International and Eaton Corporation. UPS is the world’s largest package-delivery company and a global leader in supply chain services, offering an extensive range of options for synchronizing the movement of goods, information and funds. Headquartered in Atlanta, UPS serves more than 200 countries and territories worldwide. The EPA and UPS plan to evaluate the vehicle’s fuel economy performance and emissions during a series of tests in 2006. In laboratory testing, the EPA’s patented hydraulic hybrid diesel technology achieved a 60- to 70-percent improvement in fuel economy, and more than a 40-percent reduction in carbon dioxide emissions, compared to a conventional UPS vehicle.

Compared to gasoline or natural gas, diesel fuel is safe, stable and easy to use, and requires no special handling or storage. Since natural gas is highly flammable, the possibility of fires and explosions is always present, so it must be stored and handled extremely carefully. Sound science is needed to make rational judgments. International is a leading supporter of scientific research, working with the EPA, the Health Effects Institute and others. “The hydraulic hybrid technology is quite promising, and we’re eager to see how the vehicle performs in a real-world setting,” said John Beystehner, chief operating officer of UPS.

“ We have led our industry in testing alternative-fuel vehicles because fuel conservation is critical to our business,” Beystehner said. “We believe the impact of this initiative will go far beyond our industry.”

UPS will test the hydraulic hybrid for the next several months. It will be used on a city route in the Detroit area, making daily deliveries to homes and businesses. Previously, UPS partnered with the EPA on its hydrogen fuel cell delivery vehicles, which have been part of the company’s fleet since 2003. “The diesel hydraulic hybrid concept has the potential to offer our truck customers something very unique—performance and near-zero emissions with dramatic improvements in fuel economy,” said Dee Kapur, International president, Truck Group. “International is pleased to be a part of the integration of this technology into the entire vehicle system to provide true value to our customers.”

“ EPA and our partners are not just delivering packages with this UPS truck—we are delivering environmental benefits to the American people,” said EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson. “President Bush is moving technology breakthroughs from the labs to the streets. We are doing what is good for our environment, good for our economy, and good for our nation’s energy security.”

Laboratory tests show that the technology has the potential to dramatically improve the fuel economy of urban vehicles used in applications such as package delivery, shuttle and transit buses, and refuse pick-up. When manufactured in high volume, the added costs of the hybrid components could be recouped in less than three years through lower fuel and brake maintenance costs. In the hydraulic hybrid diesel series, a high-efficiency diesel engine is combined with a unique hydraulic propulsion system, replacing the conventional drive train and transmission. Fuel economy is increased in three ways: vehicle braking energy is recovered that normally is wasted; the engine is operated more efficiently; and the engine can be shut off when stopped or decelerating.

In a similar move, International, a Navistar company, will supply Ford Motor Co. with a new 6.4-liter Ford Power Stroke Diesel engine for the 2008 Ford F-Series Super Duty. The new Power Stroke diesel engine will displace 6.4-liters, which is an increase in displacement from the current 6.0-liter V-8. It will be the first pickup engine in North America to use a high-precision, high-pressure, common-rail fuel injection system featuring piezo-electric injectors.

International invested more than $100 million in new machinery and other equipment at its manufacturing facilities in Indianapolis, Ind., and Huntsville, Ala., to manufacture the new Power Stroke diesel. Ford’s F-Series Super Duty trucks, powered by the Power Stroke diesel, are the most popular vehicle in their class, averaging 50-percent market share in the heavy-duty pickup truck segment during the past five years.

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