Eaton debuts its first hybrid power system in China

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Eaton Corp. has formally introduced its first commercially-available hybrid power system in China with Beiqi Foton Bus Co., deploying the hybrid system in 30 city buses for Guangzhou Yiqi Bus. Eaton provides diesel-electric hybrid power systems in the United States for truck and bus applications, and also is pioneering hydraulic hybrid power systems technologies for use in refuse trucks, delivery vehicles, buses and other applications.

Beiqi Foton Bus Co. and Eaton delivered the 30 hybrid diesel-electric transit buses to Guangzhou Yiqi Bus on Friday, Jan. 11, during a ceremony hosted by the U.S. Department of Commerce as part of its Clean Energy Trade Mission to China and India. The 30 buses will be deployed to carry passengers in the city, with an expected fuel savings of up to 27 percent, along with similar reductions in particulate and nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions.

“We are pleased to provide Eaton’s hybrid power system technology in working with Beiqi Foton to meet the needs of Guangzhou Yiqi Bus,” says James W. McGill, Eaton vice president-Asia/Pacific. “Innovative Eaton technologies such as our hybrid power systems are generating improved fuel economy and significant environmental benefits. We look forward to supplying more of these systems to serve the growing Chinese market.”

Kevin Beaty, leader of the hybrid power business unit in Eaton’s Truck Group, said delivery of the 30 hybrid powered buses is “a significant milestone for Eaton in placement of hybrid power in China. Vehicle makers, fleets and users in China are working hard to reduce pollution and greenhouse gases in their cities, and we are excited about being involved,” Beaty says. “This is one of those opportunities where ‘growth’ and ‘green’ can succeed together.”

Guangzhou Yiqi operates about half of the transit buses in Guangzhou, a city of 12 million people in China’s Guangdong province. Beiqi Foton Bus, one of China’s leading commercial vehicle makers, first brought Eaton’s hybrid power system to China in two prototype buses that were developed and deployed for testing in 2006.

“U.S. clean-energy companies can help China and India meet their enormous energy demands while deploying technology that benefits the environment,” saysy David Bohigian, assistant secretary of the U.S. Department of Commerce, commenting on the 18 U.S. companies, including Eaton, participating in the trade mission.

Eaton is developing both hybrid electric and hybrid hydraulic technologies for a variety of commercial vehicle applications. Both hybrid technologies use dual power sources to capture and store regenerative energy, as well as provide traction power to reduce fuel consumption and exhaust emissions.

Eaton’s hybrid electric technology is being used in the United States by companies such as FedEx, UPS, Coca-Cola and Pepsi Cola, and in Europe by DAF Trucks and Daimler Trucks. Eaton plans to commercialize its parallel hybrid hydraulic technology, called the Eaton HLA system, in 2008 in refuse trucks, and other applications will follow. Eaton also is working with the Environmental Protection Agency and other partners to develop a series hybrid-hdraulic drivetrain that the company says has demonstrated 50-70 percent better fuel economy in a package delivery vehicle.