The HyTrans Transit Van

V. Ryan © 2006 - 2009


A range of vehicles exist that are environmentally friendly. These include vehicles that are fuelled by solar, methane, hydrogen fuels or electric batteries. . However, at the moment vehicles of this type are very expensive or do not have the performance or range of conventional diesel or petrol fuel vehicles. Ford have developed a vehicle based in present day diesel technology that conserves fuel. The vehicle is called ‘HyTrans’ and is based on a Ford Transit van.
The aim is to save up to 20 % of fuel consumption. Transit vans are used in towns and cities as commercial vehicles. It is quite normal for commercial vehicles to be stuck in traffic jams or at traffic lights for 10 to 20% of their journey time. This means that they are burning expensive fuel and creating unnecessary pollution.
A diagram of a HyTrans transit van is seen below. On the surface it is no different than any other Ford transit van.


When the driver stops in a traffic jam or at traffic lights the gear system is placed in neutral. The engine would normally idle at this stage, wasting fuel and creating pollution. However, the HyTrans system turns the engine off whilst a starter system is placed on standby. When the driver changes gear to move forward the powerful starter system automatically starts the engine in 400 milliseconds and the van moves forward. The engine starts so quickly that the driver is unaware of the restart. A large battery system powers the starter which in turns starts the engine almost immediately.

When the engine is running the starter system acts as a type of dynamo charging up the large battery system that will be called upon the restart the engine when the vehicle stops.

Although the vehicle still burns polluting fuel it reduces the amount it burns and consequently reduces pollution. This reduces damage to the environment and is a step in the right direction. This type of vehicle is likely to be popular as it still produces the same performance as existing vehicles along with a saving in fuel consumption. More environmentally friendly vehicles will only replace conventional vehicles when they can match or surpass their performance and economy.