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Testing Begins of Rexroth Hydraulic Hybrid Technology in NYC Refuse Trucks

New York City’s Department of Sanitation has begun a 9-12 month in-field evaluation of Bosch Rexroth's Hydrostatic Regenerative Braking (HRB) system in refuse trucks – to assess potential fuel economy and emissions reductions the hybrid drive system offered under real-world conditions.
(Rochester Hills, MI - Field tests of Bosch Rexroth’s Hydrostatic Regenerative Braking (HRB) parallel hydraulic hybrid system were launched today by the New York City Department of Sanitation (DSNY), to assess HRB’s viability for use as an alternative drive system for the department’s refuse trucks. The field evaluations are designed to authenticate both the technical and economic benefits of the HRB system, and provide real-world operating data DSNY will use to consider large-scale deployment of the technology within the city's in-service and new vehicle fleets.

Sponsored by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), this evaluation project identifies vehicle fleets which, when integrating technologies such as HRB, have high potential for reducing fuel consumption and emissions. The hydraulic hybrid evaluation is part of a larger program carried out by DSNY that will demonstrate the impact of utilizing multiple alternative drive technologies.

The HRB system-equipped trucks will be operated in all five of the City’s boroughs, to test fuel efficiency and other parameters in a wide range of neighborhoods, seasonal conditions, and operating environments.

“The HRB system provides optimum fuel efficiency when vehicles undergo frequent braking and acceleration,” said Michelle DuHadway, manager, Parallel HRB accounts, Bosch Rexroth. “We’re excited to see the system tested in a wide variety of settings, to obtain more real-world data that shows the HRB system can provide significant fuel savings and emissions reduction.” The trucks will be subjected to a variety of in-use testing, including braking tests, acceleration tests, route collection tests and dynamometer testing to evaluate emissions.

"New York City Department of Sanitation is thrilled to be the first refuse fleet in the nation to field test the Bosch Rexroth HRB system. This is an important step toward achieving the commercialization of heavy-duty hybrid hydraulic vehicles," said Rocco DiRico, Deputy Commissioner, Support Services, DSNY. "We are proud to work with such a dedicated project team who has worked diligently to help us achieve this major milestone."

The HRB system is installed onto a Crane Carrier Company LET2 truck, and will be integrated with a Heil Environmental refuse body. Two identical trucks equipped with a HRB system will be provided for the evaluation.

The Rexroth HRB system uses a hydraulic pump/motor, connected to the driveline, to capture kinetic energy during vehicle braking. When braking, the pump/motor acts as a pump, absorbs energy from the driveline and imparts a retarding force on the drivewheels, pumping hydraulic fluid into a nitrogen-pressurized accumulator. During acceleration, the pressurized gas pushes fluid out of the accumulator, and the pump/motor then acts as a hydraulic motor, assisting the engine and reducing the fuel required to launch the vehicle. This process is commonly referred to as regenerative braking.

Hybrid drive train technologies will become a “necessity” in the near future in the heavy truck market, said Glenn Pochocki, vice president of sales & marketing, refuse/chassis products, Crane Carrier Company. “Bosch Rexroth’s hybrid HRB technology and system can be integrated into most medium and heavy duty truck vocations without impacting the vehicle’s configuration,” he said. “The HRB system is designed to improve the vehicle’s fuel economy, while improving brake system life with improved acceleration – what better combination is there?”

He added that Crane is excited by the opportunity to partner with Bosch Rexroth and DSNY in the field evaluations. “These HRB-equipped collection vehicles are the first in New York City’s Department of Sanitation fleet of Hybrid Collection vehicles – a fleet that will prove to be more fuel efficient, less costly to operate, and environmentally friendly to the neighborhoods and communities they serve.”

According to Bosch Rexroth, the HRB technology has already undergone field testing in urban settings, with positive results. “We started our in-field testing of HRB last summer with a refuse customer in Berlin, Germany and are now introducing this proven technology in North America,” said Ed Greif, vice president, Engineering Development Hydraulics, Bosch Rexroth. “Field testing has verified our simulations and we anticipate similar success in the US.”

Hydraulic hybrids, due to their high power density, are well equipped to cope with the high power requirements of regenerative braking. Maintaining efficiency during energy conversion, hydraulic hybrid systems have the potential to capture a large portion of the braking energy and make use of it more effectively. Reduced brake maintenance costs and the associated vehicle downtime offer another significant system savings. Since it is possible to slow the vehicle without engaging the foundation brakes as often, the life of the vehicle's brakes is extended and the amount of brake dust released into the environment is reduced.

“On average, the Department of Sanitation replaces brakes approximately once a year, which takes the truck out of service for at least two days. We hope to improve that figure by 50% or more,” DuHadway said.

Hydraulic technology has been widely used for some time in rugged, heavy duty fleet applications such as refuse trucks and construction equipment. While its deployment as a hybrid application is new, the integration of HRB systems into existing commercial fleets is efficient, as hydraulic systems use conventional materials and processes, and have established maintenance, repair and recycling protocols.

Bosch Rexroth is a division of the Bosch Group, a leading global supplier in the areas of automotive, industrial, consumer goods and building technology. Bosch has been involved in hybrid technology for more than 30 years, and has over 500 specialists globally dedicated to the development of both electric and hydraulic hybrid systems for light, medium, and heavy-duty vehicles worldwide.

The Bosch Group is a leading global supplier of technology and services. In the areas of automotive and industrial technology, consumer goods, and building technology, some 280,000 associates generated sales of 45.1 billion euros ($66.4 billion) in fiscal 2008. The Bosch Group comprises Robert Bosch GmbH and its more than 300 subsidiaries and regional companies in over 60 countries. Including sales and service partners, Bosch is represented in roughly 150 countries. This worldwide development, manufacturing, and sales network is the foundation for further growth. Each year, Bosch spends more than 3.5 billion euros ($5.7 billion), or eight percent of its sales revenue, for research and development and applies for over 3,000 patents worldwide. With all its products and services, Bosch enhances the quality of life by providing solutions which are both innovative and beneficial.

In North America, the Bosch Group manufactures and markets automotive original equipment and aftermarket products, industrial drives and control technology, power tools, security and packaging technology, thermotechnology, household appliances, solar energy and healthcare. Bosch employs nearly 24,000 associates in more than 70 locations throughout the U.S., Canada and Mexico, with reported sales of $8.6 billion in fiscal 2008. For more information on the company, visit

Bosch Rexroth AG is one of the world’s leading specialists in the field of drive and control technologies. Under the brand name of Rexroth the company supplies more than 500,000 customers with tailored solutions for driving, controlling and moving machinery used in industrial and factory automation as well as in mobile applications. Bosch Rexroth is a partner for industrial applications, factory automation, mobile applications and renewable energy development. As The Drive & Control Company, Bosch Rexroth develops, produces and sells components and systems in more than 80 countries. In 2008 Bosch Rexroth AG, part of the Bosch Group, achieved sales of around $8.3 billion (5.9 billion Euro) with 35,300 employees. Visit for more information.

Note: Figures based on 2008 conversion rate of 1 Euro = $1.4710 U.S.; 2007 rate of 1 Euro = $1.3704 U.S.

Rexroth Hydraulic Hybrid Vehicle Launch - May 2009


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