Institutional Memory Lapse: Jalopnik on Hydraulic Hybrids

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Last spring, as like eight of you may remember, Spinelli handed over the reins to me for a couple of weeks as he trotted off for fun and frolic in the boot-shaped land of his ancestors. I ran across a story on the Inertial Storage Transmission, invented by a Portland, OR man by the name of Vincent Carman back in the '70s. Quick recap: Carman claimed the government was trying to bury his work, while the Postal Service apparently at one time wanted to use it in fleet applications. But wait there's more! The intrigue gets more intriguing after the jump...

A reader then wrote in to let us know that the Environmental Protection Agency had been screwing around with just such a system for the last few years, and in fact I wasn't aware of this until the Detroit News' story today the EPA worked with Ford on the Hydraulic Launch Assist system for the F-350 Mighty Tonka concept that debuted back in '02 in Detroit. Of course, the other interesting thing is that Carman is mentioned nowhere in the EPA's version of the story that ran in the News. Was the government trying to erase Carman from history so the EPA could look like heroes 30 years down the road? Who knows? Are we suffering from institutional Alzheimer's round these parts? You make the call. [Thanks to everyone who weighed in.] -Davey G.

Environmental Protection Agency Develops Hybrid System, More on Hydraulic Hybrids, Using Fluid to Save Fuel: The Inertial Storage Transmission [Internal]