Azure Dynamics (earlier post) has delivered the first of 30 series hybrid electric delivery vans to Purolator, Canada’s largest overnight courier company. This is the first production delivery resulting from an agreement signed by the two companies in September 2003 that could see Purolator purchase up to 2,000 hybrid electric powered delivery vans. The five-year supply agreement, worth up to $90 million, makes Purolator Azure Dynamic’s largest customer to date.
After months of field testing with prototypes of the Azure hybrid vehicles, Purolator saw emissions reduced by a minimum of 50% while fuel consumption was reduced by approximately 50%.
Azure Dynamics uses its G1 series hybrid powertrain (a combination of Azure Dynamics' Smart Energy Management System with ZF Sachs’ hybrid drive) in the Purolator vans. (Azure and ZF Sachs announced strategic alliance in which ZF Sachs will adapt its electric traction drive and generator technology specifically to Azure’s hybrid electric smart energy management system. The resulting components will be co-branded as ZF Sachs Azure.)
Azure Dynamics is exploring different mechanisms and partners for adding a parallel hybrid powertrain to its lineup as well.
The order of 30 vehicles will be filled by Azure over the next few months. If the operational experience with these vehicles meets previously agreed upon parameters, then as Purolator replenishes its fleet each year, the company is expected to add up to 400 hybrid electric vehicles annually.
Earlier this year, Purolator also entered into a multi-year, $3.08 million (Cdn) initiative with Hydrogenics for the development and demonstration of a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle and on-site hydrogen production, storage & refueling/dispensing in a commercial fleet environment.