Delivery trucks are increasingly hybrids that sip diesel and gasoline instead of gulping. Thousands of trucks are now all-electric. 4.5 million vehicles in the U.S. are short-haul delivery vehicles. Although it would be impractical to get a big long-haul truck across the nation on electricity, it can be practical to charge 100 short-haul delivery trucks at the warehouse where they load.
AT&T, FedEx, PepsiCo, UPS and Verizon – Partnership Charter Members – announced plans to save 7 million gallons of diesel and gasoline fuel by deploying 20,000 advanced technology vehicles including hybrid and electric trucks. These charter members represent five of the nation’s 10 largest national fleets and collectively own and operate more than 275,000 vehicles.
Ford Motor Company and Azure Dynamics are now shipping the first Ford Transit Connect Electrics to large fleets. My test drive convinced me that this van will be a winner with U.S. fleet managers who control 4 million delivery vehicles. The all-electric commercial vans are built on the Ford Transit Connect vehicle body, equipped with Azure Dynamics’ patented Force Drive™ battery electric powertrain, and 28kWh lithium battery pack.By John Addison (update 11/3/11; 12/8/10)
Ford Motor Company and Azure Dynamics are now shipping the Ford Transit Connect Electrics to large fleets. My test drive convinced me that this van will be a winner with U.S. fleet managers who control 4 million delivery vehicles. Shipments have also started to Europe, beginning with the U.K. 500 to 1,000 will be delivered in 2011.
The all-electric commercial vans are built on the Ford Transit Connect vehicle body, equipped with Azure Dynamics’ patented Force Drive™ battery electric powertrain, and assembled by AM General at its facility in Livonia, Michigan. The 28kWh lithium battery pack is supplied by the Johnson Controls SAFT JV.
Azure Dynamics’ LEAD customer program includes AT&T, Southern California Edison, Xcel Energy, Johnson Controls Inc., New York Power Authority, Canada Post and Toronto Atmospheric Fund EV300. Additional demonstration program – LEAD -customers will be identified by the end of the year.
Transit Connect Electric is the first product in Ford’s accelerated electrified vehicle plan, and will be followed by the Focus Electric passenger car in 2011, along with a plug-in hybrid electric and two next-generation lithium-ion battery-powered hybrid vehicles in 2012.
As the UK prepares for an electric 2012 Olympics, the Transit Connect Electric commercial van is headed to the United Kingdom, where 14 of the vehicles will take part in the government’s Ultra-Low Carbon Vehicle Demonstrator program. The program, supported by Scottish and Southern Energy, utilizes a fleet of zero-emissions vehicles for the energy company, with designated drivers to test vehicle and infrastructure technology.
The consortium of Ford, Scottish and Southern Energy and the University of Strathclyde will provide Transit Connect Electric vehicles and a charging infrastructure in and around the London suburb of Hillingdon during 2010 and 2011.
Ford and Azure Dynamics already have announced they will collaborate to produce the Transit Connect Electric for the European market with first units to be delivered in 2011.
The all-electric, zero-emissions Transit Connect Electric has a driving range of up to 80 miles per full charge and is ideal for fleet owners who have well-defined routes of predictable distances and a central location for daily recharging. Delivery fleet and utility vehicle operators have begun to show a preference for smaller, more efficient vehicles, which creates an ideal time for Transit Connect Electric to come to market.
Owners will have the option of recharging Transit Connect Electric with either a standard 120-volt outlet, or preferably a 240-volt charge station, typically installed at the user’s base of operations for optimal recharging in six to eight hours. A transportable cord that works with both types of outlets will be available for convenient recharging at either voltage.
The vehicle’s charge port is located above the passenger-side rear wheel well. The onboard liquid-cooled 28-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack is charged by connecting the charge port to a power outlet. Inside the vehicle, an onboard charger converts AC power from the electric grid to DC power to charge the battery pack.
When the vehicle is operating, battery power is provided to the drive motor through the electric powertrain’s motor controller. The motor controller uses throttle input from the driver to convert DC power supplied by the battery into three precisely timed signals used to drive the motor. The onboard DC/DC converter allows the vehicle’s main battery pack to charge the onboard 12-volt battery, which powers the vehicle’s various accessories, such as headlights, power steering and coolant pumps.
Clean Fleet Report forecasts that only Nissan and Chevrolet will sell more electric vehicles than Ford in 2011. Top 10 EV Report 2011-->
Fleet managers of utilities, universities, and city delivery will be evaluating this new battery-electric truck. As I turn and accelerate on the busy city street, the vehicle is silent. I cannot even hear the electric motor. Zero to 60 in 11 seconds is nothing to brag about, but the acceleration was adequate on the level street. By partnering with Azure and JCS, Ford will be one of the first to delivery commercial freeway-speed electric vehicles in the United States.
Ford Motor Company unveiled the all-electric version of the Ford Transit Connect – the 2010 North American Truck of the Year – at the Chicago Auto Show and confirmed the zero-emissions small van will be in fleet operators’ hands later this year. The 2011 Transit Connect Electric will use a Force Drive electric powertrain manufactured and integrated by Azure Dynamics who has built electric delivery truck drive systems for the U.S. Post Office, Purolator Courier, and Fed Ex.
Plug-in delivery and service vans and trucks are starting to save millions in fuel. The Eaton hybrid-electric drive system will be used in 138 FedEx delivery vans. Bright Automotive wants to make 50,000 plug-in hybrid vans per year that are built from the ground-up to deliver 100 mpg in a van that can carry 180 cubic feet of cargo.
UPS operates nearly 100,000 ground vehicles, 600 airplanes, 3,000 facilities, and employs over 400,000 people. Although UPS has experienced over a 40% improvement in fuel economy with 50
hybrid-electric delivery vehicles, a new type of hydraulic hybrid may be even better.
Solar is powering more vehicles. American’s have reduced their use of petroleum 5 percent this year. So far, petroleum reduction is the result of fewer miles traveled solo as people cut travel to deal with high gas prices and a slowing economy. At the Solar Power International conference, one notable area of growth is solar covered parking structures with vehicle charging – a cool solution for a planet that is getting hotter.
The key to FedEx’s future is continued improvements in efficiency. Customers look to FedEx to handle shipment, logistics and delivery better than competitive alternatives. One challenge for FedEx is controlling fuel costs including jet fuel, diesel and gasoline.
With oil topping $100 per barrel, FedEx is also investing in hybrid, alt-fuel, and electric vehicles. FedEx hybrids have accumulated more than 1,000,000 miles in revenue service.100 diesel hybrids are in service globally, primarily in the U.S; 75 more hybrids will be added in 2008. The hybrids are an excellent investment with a 42% improvement in fuel economy.
Most oil consumption and greenhouse gas emissions from transportation are not from passenger vehicles; they are from the heavy-duty vehicles, ships, and planes that move all our goods, serve public transit, and provide the infrastructure that keeps cities running. Heavy-duty operators have often been years ahead of passenger vehicle owners in using advanced technology to do more with less fuel. Article describes use of hybrids, plug-in hybrids, idle-off, natural gas, hydrogen fuel cells, energy security and green supply chains.
UPS delivers 15 million packages per day in over 200 countries. UPS has over 100,000 vehicles and 600 airplanes. UPS employs over 400,000 people. UPS is the ninth largest airline on the planet. They are experts at reducing the cost and fuel usage of moving millions of packages. 1,500 of those vehicles use alternative fuel, savings millions of gallons of oil and lowering greenhouse gas emissions. Since 2000, UPS alternative-fuel vehicles have logged 108 million route miles — enough to circle the Earth more than 4,300 times.