Road tests conducted by BAE Systems reveal that commercial trucks powered by the company’s green HybriDrive parallel hybrid electric propulsion system use 30% less fuel than trucks running on traditional diesel engines.

The parallel system is designed for heavy-duty truck applications that include refuse collection, construction, pick-up and delivery, and utility vehicles.

The average fuel economy improvement of 30% on trucks powered by the parallel system was experienced across a range of standard driving cycles. The system performed best on stop-and-go cycles where average speed is between five and 20 miles per hour. Based on duty cycles and fuel usage, a truck fleet owner who uses the HybriDrive parallel system can expect payback within three to five years.

BAE Systems is developing truck systems with Dennis Eagle in the U.K., and Crane Carrier Company in the United States, to be rolled out in 2012. The HybriDrive parallel system will integrate with “big-bore” and heavy-duty diesel engines. The system is suitable for vehicles from 19,500 to 80,000 lbs. total gross vehicle weight. The parallel system will deliver significant environmental benefits by lowering emissions, reducing fuel consumption and lowering noise pollution in the field.