|The Quicksider electric delivery vehicle.|
Purolator, Canada’s largest overnight courier company, introduced the Quicksider, a prototype all-electric, lightweight urban delivery vehicle. The Quicksider will be tested and evaluated for performance on the streets of Toronto.
The Quicksider was developed by a consortium led by Toronto-based Unicell Limited in partnership with ArvinMeritor, Battery Engineering and Test Services Inc.; Bodycote Material Testing; Electrovaya Inc.; PMG Technologies Inc.; Purolator Courier Ltd.; Southwestern Energy; and the Transportation Development Centre of Transport Canada.
The Quicksider has a one-piece fiberglass body and stainless steel chassis. Cargo capacity is 10% more than a conventional 16' step van. The electric motors in the powertrain deliver a combined 230 hp (172 kW), and are currently powered by a sodium nickel chloride battery pack. Minimum range is 65 km (40 miles), with a top speed of 110 kph (65 mph).
In a parallel project, Electrovaya—also a partner in the Quicksider program—is developing a version of its lithium-ion polymer battery system for application in the lightweight urban delivery vehicle.
The Quicksider also offers other operation-enhancing features including automatic doors, a tighter turning ratio and pneumatic suspensions that enable the truck to kneel to curb level to unload packages.
Preliminary design work on the Quicksider first began at Unicell in 2000. In 2003, Purolator joined the development team to provide insights and recommendations that would help make the electric vehicle more effective for use in a courier environment. After analyzing courier routes and terminal operations with Purolator drivers, managers and engineers, Unicell enhanced its original designs to include features that will help maximize efficiency in delivery operations.
Drivetrain systems manufacturer ArvinMeritor joined the project team in 2004 to design and build the electric axle drivetrain, regenerative braking system, and system integration of motors, gears and controls for a working prototype vehicle. The Transportation Development Centre of Transport Canada also supported the project throughout its development.
In addition to the introduction of the Quicksider prototype, Purolator has also added 30 new hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) to its curbside delivery fleet across Canada, with 28 in Vancouver, one in Ottawa, and one in Montreal. Purolator currently has 19 HEVs and one fuel-cell hybrid electric vehicle in service in Toronto since 2005.
Lightweight urban delivery truck (Transport Canada)