Colorado State University plans to retrofit two of its delivery trucks with hydraulic hybrid systems. The university is paying for the vehicles with a grant from the Colorado Energy Office. The vehicles are 2012-MY medium-duty GMC trucks and will use the first real-world hydraulic hybrid application for this vehicle category, according to the university.

The new vehicles will save roughly $1,700 in fuel and maintenance costs, and the vehicles will get up to 40% better fuel economy when compared with traditionally fueled vehicles. The hydraulic hybrid system uses regenerative braking to capture energy and power the vehicle.

The systems the university plans to install in the vehicles are from Lightning Hybrids, which is run by two CSU alumni, Dan Johnson, CEO, and Tim Reeser, co-founder and president.

“We’re happy to be working with a local company like Lightning Hybrids. I know I’ve been interested in this hybrid conversion from the moment I was introduced to it,” said Gene Stroh, transportation manager for CSU’s fleet. “The system is simple, yet very effective and should work well in the stop and go environment here on campus. We’re all looking forward to the results once the vehicles are put into service and used on a daily basis.”

Other government entities in Colorado investigating installing this technology in their fleets include the City of Loveland and the City of Greeley, according to the university.