[Due to the increasing size of the archives, each topic page now contains only the prior 365 days of content. Access to older stories is now solely through the Monthly Archive pages or the site search function.]
DRIVEN consortium to test Level 4 autonomous fleet in UK in 2019
April 25, 2017
The DRIVEN consortium—led by artificial intelligence company Oxbotica, which is developing next-gen autonomous vehicles—will test a fleet of fully autonomous vehicles in urban areas and on motorways, culminating in an end-to-end journey from London to Oxford. These vehicles will operate at Level 4 autonomy—with capability of performing all safety-critical driving functions and monitoring roadway conditions for an entire trip, with zero-passenger occupancy.
No connected and autonomous vehicle trial at this level of complexity and integration has yet been attempted. DRIVEN is supported by a £8.6-million (US$11-million) grant awarded by the Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles and delivered through Innovate UK.
Ford confirms five fleets in London for Transit Custom Plug-in Hybrid Van pilot program
April 24, 2017
Ford announced five fleets that will participate in the Ford Transit Custom plug-in hybrid van pilot program in London, starting this fall. (Earlier post.) The pilot program is designed to explore how lower-emission plug-in hybrid electric vans could support cleaner air targets, while boosting productivity for operators in urban conditions.
The project, supported by Transport for London, features a 12-month pilot of 20 new Ford Transit Custom plug-in hybrid vans that reduce local emissions by running solely on electric power for the majority of inner-city trips. Equipped with range extenders, the fleet is not limited by battery range, making them capable of the longer journeys that may be required by businesses and police and emergency vehicle services.
SunLine Transit receives $12.5M for five H2-powered buses, H2 generating station in Coachella Valley
April 21, 2017
California Climate Investments is awarding a $12.5-million grant to SunLine Transit Agency for five new zero-emission New Flyer hydrogen fuel cell buses. The grant also supports the development of the largest hydrogen fueling station in the US of its kind, from Hydrogenics, using electricity and renewable energy to generate clean hydrogen.
The grant is part of the state’s effort to use proceeds from the climate change cap-and-trade program to reduce greenhouse gases, including a widespread effort to promote low carbon transit such as hydrogen-powered or electric buses throughout California, with a special focus on serving disadvantaged communities.
Workhorse releases specs for coming W-15 extended range electric pickup
April 14, 2017
Workhorse has released initial specifications of its W-15 pickup truck, for which it has accumulated letters of intent for 2,150 units. (Earlier post.) A drivable prototype of the W-15 will be unveiled at the Advanced Clean Transportation Expo in Long Beach, California, on May 2. Production models are scheduled for delivery in 2018.
Designed specifically to meet the needs of commercial fleets, the W-15 is believed to be the first plug-in, range-extended pickup truck built from the ground up by an original equipment manufacturer (OEM).
Hermes to deploy 1500 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter and Vito electric vans by 2020; pilot project in 2018
March 28, 2017
Hermes and Mercedes-Benz Vans have agreed on a wide-ranging strategic partnership to electrify the courier service’s vehicle fleet. The companies are to start using battery-electric vehicles in the logistics provider’s normal operations in a pilot phase in Stuttgart and Hamburg in early 2018.
The focus will be on the economy, sustainability and practicality of tailpipe emission-free delivery vans when used for the last mile. By the end of 2020, Hermes Germany intends to deploy 1,500 Mercedes-Benz Vito and Sprinter electric vans in urban areas across Germany.
UPS to invest more than additional $90M in natural gas vehicles and infrastructure; 6 new CNG stations, 440 vehicles
March 16, 2017
UPS plans to build an additional six compressed natural gas (CNG) fueling stations and add 390 new CNG tractors and terminal trucks and 50 liquefied natural gas (LNG) vehicles to its alternative fuel and advanced technology fleet. UPS further cements its leadership in the alternative fuel market while continuing to reduce its environmental footprint with this more than $90 million investment in natural gas.
UPS has deployed more than 4,400 natural gas vehicles and a network of fueling stations, said Mark Wallace, UPS senior vice president global engineering and sustainability. In 2016, UPS used more than 61 million gallons of natural gas in its ground fleet, which included 4.6 million gallons of renewable natural gas. The resulting decrease in the use of conventional gas and diesel decreased CO2 emissions by 100,000 metric tons, he said.
Volvo Trucks and PATH successfully demo partially automated on-highway truck platooning in California; CACC
March 14, 2017
Volvo Trucks and Partners for Advanced Transportation Technology (PATH) at the University of California, Berkeley recently completed a successful demonstration of partially automated truck platooning, made possible by Cooperative Adaptive Cruise Control technology (CACC).
Three Volvo VNL 670 model tractors hauled cargo containers at the Los Angeles Port complex and along Interstate 110, highlighting for public officials and other stakeholders the technology’s potential for improving highway safety, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and increasing the capacity of transportation systems.
Alstom and NTL launch electric Aptis as new mass transit mobility solution; four steerable wheels; Paris trials
March 13, 2017
Alstom and NTL presented Aptis, an innovative electric mobility solution for mass transit. Aptis’ unique and innovative design, based on that of a tram, incorporates low-floor accessibility and 360° views. Two or three large double doors enable easy on-and-off passenger flows and smooth access for wheelchairs and strollers. 95 passengers can travel on this 12-meter long bus.
Operators will benefit from a vehicle that is easy to maintain with the longest lifetime in its category. With four steerable wheels versus two for a bus, Aptis occupies 25% less surface area in curves. At bus stops, this minimizes the space needed to park while offering gains in available space for other vehicles.
First of 27 BYD electric trucks arriving in Southern California freight and rail yards; $19.2M project
The State of California, San Bernardino Council of Governments (SBCOG) and partners Daylight Transport and BYD Motors celebrated the arrival of the first of 27 electric yard and service trucks for freight and rail yards in three disadvantaged communities in San Bernardino, Los Angeles and Fontana. The demonstration truck project is funded by $9 million from the State’s climate change-fighting cap-and-trade program and another $10.2 million in cash and in-kind matching funds.
The project demonstrates 23 battery-electric 80,000-pound (GCVWR) Class 8 yard trucks and four 16,100-pound (GVWR) Class 5 service trucks. Three yard trucks and a service truck will operate at Daylight and the other 23 will operate at two BNSF Railway rail yards in San Bernardino and Los Angeles counties. BNSF will take delivery of the electric trucks this summer.
Porterville, CA orders ten 40' all-electric buses from GreenPower; option for 20 more
March 10, 2017
Canadaa-based GreenPower Motor Company has entered into a sales contract to supply 10 GreenPower EV350 40-foot zero-emission all-electric transit buses with the City of Porterville in California for deployment on all nine Porterville Transit routes. The order includes 11 charging systems to be installed at the maintenance facility and transit center for a total purchase price of approximately $9 million.
The funds for the acquisition were granted from the competitive California Air Resources Board (ARB) Zero-Emission Truck and Bus Pilot Program.
Rail Management Services (RMS) orders 9 more Orange EV T-Series electric yard trucks
March 02, 2017
Rail Management Services (RMS), an intermodal lift-on/lift-off contractor with a hostling fleet of 700+ trucks, has placed a follow-on order for nine additional T-Series battery-electric terminal trucks from Orange EV.
Orange EV offers a range of configurations built to meet site-specific requirements while managing cost. The RMS reorder is consists of nine Extended Duty (160 kWh) trucks, each with galvanized frames but built to three different configurations: new, on-road (DOT compliant), with standard onboard charging; re-manufactured (aka re-powered), off-road, with offboard fast charging; and re-manufactured, off-road, with standard onboard charging.
SCPPA signs letter of intent for 500 Workhorse W-15 4WD range-extended electric pickup trucks
February 28, 2017
Workhorse Group Inc. (WKHS), an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) of battery-electric vehicles, received a Letter of Intent from Southern California Public Power Authority (SCPPA) for 500 W-15 Plug-In Electric Pickup trucks. (Earlier post.) The Workhorse W-15 light duty platform design is an extension of the E-Gen electric technology used in Workhorse medium-duty delivery trucks. (Earlier post.)
With expected all-electric 80-mile range using Panasonic 18650 Li-ion batteries, the battery pack is expected to cover the vast majority of miles driven in a day by fleet owners of locally driven trucks. If needed, the gasoline generator (from BMW) will then operate after battery power has been depleted, providing a full hybrid range of 310 miles per tank.
Toyota delivers fuel cell bus to Tokyo Metropolitan Government; more than 100 planned by 2020 Olympics
February 24, 2017
Toyota Motor Corporation delivered the first fuel cell bus (FC bus) sold under the Toyota brand to the Bureau of Transportation of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government. This FC bus will be put into operation as a Toei route bus in March along with a second bus that is scheduled for delivery in the same month.
Toyota plans to introduce more than 100 FC buses mainly within the Tokyo area, ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games. The increased use of FC buses in urban areas is expected to help raise the level of understanding by the general public regarding the use of FC buses as a form of public transportation.
MAN and Austria’s CNL partnering on medium- and heavy-duty electric trucks; trials this year, production 2018
February 21, 2017
MAN Truck & Bus, a member of the Volkswagen Group, and the Austrian Council for Sustainable Logistics (CNL) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to enter into a development partnership on electric drive medium- and heavy-duty trucks. MAN also presented an all-electric prototype of a semitrailer tractor unit for urban distribution transport.
As part of its partnership with CNL—a group of fifteen of Austria’s largest companies in the retail, logistics and production sectors—MAN will be making test vehicles available to nine CNL member companies for practical trials from the end of 2017. Further, MAN intends to begin producing electric versions of the MAN TGM series—manufactured at its Steyr, Austria site—from the end of 2018. CNL plans to up its use of eTrucks for inner-city and suburban distribution transport from 2020 onwards in order to make an active contribution towards reducing emissions in cities.
Ballard in consortium with New Flyer to deploy 20 fuel cell electric buses in CA
February 14, 2017
Ballard Power Systems announced its membership in the “Fuel Cell Electric Bus Commercialization Consortium” (FCEBCC), a large-scale project for which funding has now been committed to support deployment of 20 zero-emission hydrogen fuel cell electric buses at two California transit agencies. Ten (10) buses are to be deployed with Alameda Contra-Costa Transit District (AC Transit) and 10 buses are to be deployed with the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA).
The FCEBCC project is funded and sponsored by: the California Air Resources Board (CARB) through the California Climate Investments program; the Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD); and the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD). The Center for Transportation and Environment (CTE), a non-profit member-based organization, is providing project management and oversight.
Volvo Buses receives order for 90 electric hybrid buses and fast charging stations from Belgium
February 10, 2017
Volvo Buses has secured its largest order yet for complete solutions for electric bus traffic. The Belgian cities of Charleroi and Namur have together ordered 90 Volvo 7900 Electric Hybrid buses as well as 12 charging stations. The buyer is public transport company TEC Group. The charging stations will be delivered by ABB.
The order from TEC Group covers 55 buses for Charleroi and another 35 buses for Namur. ABB will supply 4 charging stations to Charleroi and 8 charging stations for Namur. Delivery and installation will get under way this autumn. After the delivery, the TEC Group will have ordered in total 101 Volvo electric hybrids and 15 ABB charging stations.
California ARB to award up to $10M for zero- and near-zero emission school buses
February 07, 2017
A new program funded by proceeds from California’s cap-and-trade program aims to encourage the turnover of California’s school bus fleet to zero-emission and cleaner-burning school buses.
The program, known as The Rural School Bus Pilot Project, is a partnership between the North Coast Unified Air Quality Management District (AQMD) and the California Air Resources Board. The North Coast Unified AQMD will administer the $10 million funding for this statewide school bus project.
Groupe Renault acquires PVI, a specialist in the electrification of Light Commercial Vehicles
February 06, 2017
PVI has previously worked with Groupe Renault on the development and electrification of the upcoming Renault Master Z.E. This large van, which was unveiled at the Brussels Motor Show in January and which is due to be launched before the end of 2017, will extend the Group’s existing range of electric LCVs. (Earlier post.)
Volvo receives order for 8 all-electric buses in UK; OppCharge opportunity charging
Volvo Buses has received an order for eight electric buses, the Volvo 7900 electric, from Transdev Blazefield, the owner of the Harrogate Bus Company in the UK. Operations start in 2018 in Harrogate, 90 km northeast of Manchester.
When the vehicles enter service in 2018, the project will be the first of its kind in the UK introducing full electric vehicles using opportunity charging via the common interface OppCharge, whereby the charging stations can also be used by electrified buses from other vehicle manufacturers. OppCharge is now starting to be used as a common interface in more than 12 countries. (Earlier post.)
UQM partners with Meritor for full e-axle systems for medium- and heavy-duty commercial vehicles; prototypes later this year
February 02, 2017
UQM Technologies has signed a development agreement with Meritor. The development program is expected to last for two-and-one-half years. The alliance will develop full electric axle systems to address the increasing commercial vehicle market demand requirements for improved fuel economy and reduced emissions through much higher levels of vehicle electrification.
Meritor’s mechanical drivetrain components will be combined with UQM’s motor and inverter technology and hardware to create the Meritor and UQM Electric Axle System (MUQM Electric Axles) for the medium- and heavy-duty commercial vehicle markets. The companies anticipate that prototypes will be ready by early fall of 2017.
AKASOL to provide Li-ion batteries for electric buses to Scandinavian OEM through 2030; up to 4,500 systems
January 23, 2017
Germany-based Li-ion manufacturer AKASOL (earlier post) has signed a contract for the supply of Li-ion batteries to an unnamed international commercial vehicle manufacturer in Scandinavia for its entire electric bus fleet through 2023. In total, the order includes the delivery of up to 4,500 battery systems—revenue on the order of up to some triple-digit million euro figure.
The first series production buses fitted with AKASOL-battery systems are expected in 2018. The buses will feature either hybrid or battery-electric drive and have a capacity between 150 and 300 kWh.
Volkswagen Truck & Bus launches two truck platooning projects; Scania in Singapore, MAN and Schenker in Germany
Volkswagen Truck & Bus companies have launched two truck platooning pilot projects: one, with Scania in Singapore (earlier post), the other with MAN and Schenker DB in Germany. Platooning is system in which several trucks drive in a convoy with the support of advanced driver assistance and control systems. They are linked by an “electronic drawbar”. The driver of the first vehicle sets the speed and the direction. Each platoon truck has a driver on board who is able to intervene in an emergency.
In Singapore, in the world’s largest pilot project of this kind, Scania will be developing and testing a comprehensive platooning solution. Truck platoons each composed of four trucks will cover a distance of 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) on public roads to transport containers between various port terminals. The driver of the first truck will set the speed and direction, with the following three vehicles driving autonomously. This project has been commissioned by the Singapore port authority and the ministry of transport.
During the first phase of the project, Scania will be trialing the technology at its own test facility in Södertälje, Sweden, where it will be customizing it to meet local conditions. After this has been completed, the second phase will involve testing in Singapore.
MAN and logistics specialist DB Schenker are also forging a platooning partnership. This marks the first platooning alliance between an automotive manufacturer and a logistics company. Its purpose is to test platooning under realistic conditions over an extended period of time to gain meaningful data. For this purpose, a truck platoon is to travel on the A9 motorway between Munich and Nuremberg from 2018. In the ensuing step, the platoon is to be used at DB Schenker’s facility in Nuremberg.
Given the growing volume of traffic on public roads, there is a strong need for improved traffic flows. The advantages of platooning are obvious: thanks to the small distance of only 10-15 meters between the trucks, fuel savings of up 10% can be achieved. This also results in a substantial reduction in CO2 emissions. A further advantage is the lower risk of accidents.
The pilot projects are key components of more efficient transportation of goods on the road. Platooning is beneficial for the environment, improves the flow of traffic and increases road safety. What we now need is the legislative framework allowing us to introduce platooning on public roads.—Andreas Renschler, Member of the Board of Management of Volkswagen AG and Chief Executive Officer of Volkswagen Truck & Bus GmbH
The use of platooning in Europe will be technically possible from around 2020. However, implementation is contingent upon the legislative framework being duly modified in EU countries.| Comments (0)
Ford running 12-month trial of 20 plug-in hybrid Transit Custom vans in London
January 20, 2017
Ford is launching a multi-million pound project designed to help improve air quality in London. The project, supported by Transport for London, features a 12-month trial of 20 new plug-in hybrid (PHEV) Transit Custom vans that reduce local emissions by running solely on electric power for the majority of city trips such as deliveries or maintenance work.
Ford plans to introduce a Transit Custom PHEV van on the market in 2019; the Transit Custom PHEV vans in the London trial are an advanced prototype design that allows them to be charged with mains electricity for zero-emission journeys, while featuring an efficient on-board combustion engine for extended range when longer trips are required. Ford is the first volume manufacturer to offer PHEV technology in this segment of the van market.
Efficient Drivetrains awarded bus fleet order for the City of Sheyang, China
January 19, 2017
Efficient Drivetrains, Inc. (EDI) Awarded Bus Fleet Order for the City of Efficient Drivetrains, Inc. (EDI) has received a major order for its EDI PowerDrive 6000 systems from the city of Sheyang in China. The company is supplying its drivetrain technology to Yaxing Motor Coach for integration into a fleet of city buses to be delivered in March of this year.
The company’s EDI PowerDrive 6000 PHEV drivetrain system surpassed one million miles in a commercial fleet setting in late 2016. Utilized for a mass transportation application, EDI PowerDrive 6000, certified by the China government, delivered full OEM performance with more than 40% improvement in fuel economy and emissions reductions as the system was deployed in the field to perform standard bus routes in place of its conventional diesel fuel counterpart.
GM expands B20 biodiesel lineup with new cars, crossovers and trucks
January 18, 2017
General Motors is expanding its portfolio of B20-capable vehicles to include cars and crossovers, and will field the industry’s most expansive lineup of diesel-powered vehicles in 2017, John Schwegman, director of commercial product and medium duty for GM Fleet, announced at the National Biodiesel Conference.
Chevrolet offers the industry’s broadest lineup of B20-capable diesel propulsion for fleet, commercial and retail customers, including: Express full-size vans; Silverado HD full-size pickups; the Colorado mid-size pickup; the Low Cab Forward commercial truck; the 2017 Cruze compact car and the 2018 Equinox compact crossover.
Renault introduces two new electric light commercial vehicles
January 14, 2017
At the Brussels Motorshow in Belgium, Renault Pro+ introduced two new electric light commercial vehicles—New Kangoo Z.E. and Master Z.E.—to its line-up, bringing the total to four. The company is also expanding its range of connected services for commercial customers as well as its specialist network.
New Kangoo Z.E. features a new battery, new engine, new charger, new innovative connected services, and a heat pump in the air conditioning system. New Kangoo Z.E. is equipped with a new “Z.E.33” battery (33 kWh) and also gains a new motor developing 60 hp and based on the ZOE R75/90 motor. It is built in France at the Renault Cléon plant.
New Flyer zero-emission bus deliveries increased by 48% to 213 EUs in 2016
January 12, 2017
Deliveries of New Flyer of America zero-emission buses (ZEBs) in 2016 reached their highest level in company history, delivering 213 equivalent units (EUs) in 2016. (One equivalent unit represents one 30-foot, 35-foot or 40-foot heavy-duty transit bus or one motor coach. One articulated transit bus represents two equivalent units.) This represented an increase of 48% from 144 ZEB EU’s delivered in 2015, and is represents 8.3% of New Flyer’s total heavy-duty transit bus production in 2016.
New Flyer manufactures all three current types of ZEBs, including: battery-electric, trolley-electric, and hydrogen fuel cell electric buses. This design and manufacturing capability allows transit authorities the ability to optimize charging method, infrastructure and range capability for their specific needs.
BYD the recommended company for Argentinian tender for 50 electric buses
BYD has been officially selected as the recommended company by the evaluation committee in Argentina for the purchase of 50 electric buses on behalf of the Ministry of Environment.
The tender was launched by the Ministry of Environment as a pilot project for the introduction of electric public transport in different cities throughout the country. The bid evaluation committee chose BYD amongst a pool of 5 bidders for its successful 12-meter electric bus, which is already used in cities such as London, Los Angeles, Amsterdam, etc.
Scania leading full-scale autonomous truck platoon project in Singapore; 4-truck convoys
January 11, 2017
Scania will design the world’s first full-scale autonomous truck platooning operations, based on its own advanced technology. The platoon will traffic public roads while transporting containers between port terminals in Singapore. The aim is to organize convoys of four trucks—with the following three trucks behind the lead truck autonomously driven, as well as to fully automate the processes for precise docking and undocking of cargo.
The multi-year project is organized by the Ministry of Transport and the Port of Singapore Authority (PSA Corporation). Toyota is also participating in this project.
King County Metro Transit to purchase 120 battery-electric buses by 2020, 73 from Proterra
King County, Washington, Executive Dow Constantine announced that King County Metro Transit will acquire 120 battery-electric buses by 2020. As part of this commitment, Metro will purchase up to 73 battery buses from Burlingame, Calif.-based Proterra. The first 20 are scheduled to go into service this year and 2019. Metro serves Seattle and the rest of King County.
Eight of the buses are slated to go into service this year; 12 more in 2019. Up to eight of the new 40-foot battery buses will likely operate on Metro Routes 226 and 241 in Bellevue. As part of a pilot project last year, Metro began running three all-electric buses on these routes, which serve some of the county’s densest job centers, including the Microsoft campus and downtown Bellevue.
Ballard-powered fuel cell electric buses exceed 10M km of revenue service
January 04, 2017
Ballard Power Systems fuel cells have powered buses for more than 10 million cumulative kilometers (6.2 million miles) of revenue service. This fuel cell industry milestone has been achieved across the company’s seven generations of its FCveloCity fuel cell engine, which have been deployed in buses in 15 countries on 5 continents during the past 10 years.
Over this period Ballard has worked with 13 bus manufacturers to develop a variety of fuel cell bus configurations that have been deployed in a wide range of climatic conditions and operated under a host of demanding duty cycles.
Electric bus wins: BYD in Nottingham, Irizar in Bilbao
December 23, 2016
Thirteen new electric buses have been added to Nottingham’s existing fleet of 45 electric vehicles, turning another two park and ride services into fully zero emission services. The Chinese-built BYD eBuses will run on the CentreLink and EcoLink routes which have been designed to cut the amount of traffic entering the city centre.
The current fleet of 45 Yorkshire-built Optare electric buses have saved more than £300,000 (US$370K) in fuel savings and an estimated 1,000 tonnes of greenhouse gases since their introduction in 2012. The investment in these zero emission buses is a part of Nottingham’s bid to reduce both greenhouse gases and improve air quality. With an expected Clean Air Zone to be in place by 2020, they are an essential part of the local authority’s anti-pollution strategy.
ABB delivers OppCharge fast charger for electric hybrid buses to Bertrange, Luxembourg
December 21, 2016
ABB has inaugurated the first OppCharge fast-charging station for electric buses in Benelux, in the commuter belt town of Bertrange, Luxembourg. The fast charger, with associated electrical systems, is based on OppCharge, an open interface for DC electric bus charging using pole-mounted pantographs, as opposed to putting the pantograph on the vehicle’s roof. (The vehicle-mounted OppCharge connector rails weight about 2kg, compared to the 70-200 kg with a roof-mounted pantograph.)
The project has been delivered with ABB fast charging infrastructure and substation to the local authority MDDI Ministry of Sustainable Development and Infrastructure; with the support of the national road administration of Luxembourg (Administration des Ponts et Chausseés). Bus operator Sales-Lentz will use the charger to recharge electric hybrid buses from Volvo.
Proton OnSite to supply 13 MW-scale electrolyzers to provide hydrogen for fuel cell bus fueling in China
December 20, 2016
Proton OnSite signed a contract with Guangdong Synergy Hydrogen Power Technology Co., Ltd. to provide megawatt-scale Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) electrolyzers for the deployment of fuel cell-powered buses in the cities of Foshan and Yunfu, China.
Three of the megawatt systems will ship this summer, and an additional ten systems are planned to ship over the next 18 months, with the opportunity for significant recurring systems to follow. The agreement names Proton as the exclusive supplier of electrolyzers to Synergy and opens discussions for a joint venture to manufacture a portion of Proton’s M Series electrolyzers in Foshan exclusively for the fueling market in China.
XL Hybrids expanding product line-up with new plug-in hybrid system for pick-ups; product launch in Q4 2017
December 15, 2016
XL Hybrids is introducing a new product line, the XLP plug-in hybrid vehicle (PHEV) upfit solution. The XLP will be an industry-first fleet-ready solution offered as a ship-thru upfit on half-ton pickup trucks from leading OEMs, and is targeted to provide a 50% improvement in miles driven per gallon for major fleets across the United States, as well as significant reductions in CO2 emissions. XLP ship-thru deliveries to fleet customers will begin in the fourth quarter of 2017, said Clay Siegert, XL Hybrids’ co-founder and chief operating officer.
Utility and municipal fleets including San Diego Gas & Electric Company, Liberty Utilities, Hawaiian Electric Company and Montgomery County Maryland, which is headed by a recent public sector fleet manager of the year William Griffiths, are among the North American customers that intend to purchase the XLP PHEV system for use in their pickup fleets. SDG&E, as one example, signed a memorandum of understanding to purchase up to 110 of the plug-in electric hybrid truck systems between 2017 and 2020 to upgrade SDG&E’s fleet vehicles.
London to phase out diesel buses; all new single deckers for central London to be zero emission
December 13, 2016
The Mayor of London Sadiq Khan recently committed to phasing out purchasing new pure diesel buses from the capital. No more pure diesel double-deck buses will be added to the capital’s fleet from 2018 and all new single-decks for central London will be zero-emission. The Mayor made the announcement along with unveiling the first double-decker hydrogen bus, manufactured by the Wrights Group. (Earlier post.)
London has committed to procuring roughly 300 zero emission buses by 2020, with 51 battery electric buses recently going into service on the 507/521 route, taking the number of completely electric bus routes to three, with 79 zero emission buses in total in the fleet.
San Diego MTS deploys 77 propane buses; Ford F-550 and E-450 chassis with ROUSH fuel systems
December 08, 2016
The San Diego Metropolitan Transit System (MTS) rolled out its new fleet of 77 buses fueled by propane autogas. The alternatively fueled buses will help the agency reduce its operating costs, and will reduce emissions by 2 million pounds per year.
MTS purchased 31 minibuses and 46 paratransit buses fueled by propane. The minibuses are built on the Ford F-550 chassis and the paratransit buses are built on the Ford E-450 chassis. Each model features a Ford 6.8L V10 engine with a ROUSH CleanTech propane autogas fuel system. The ROUSH CleanTech liquid propane autogas fuel system consists of four major subsystems which include the fuel rail assembly; fuel line assembly; fuel tank assembly; and the powertrain control system.
Nikola Motor unveils prototype Class 8 fuel cell range-extended electric truck, plans for H2 fueling network
December 06, 2016
At an event at its Salt Lake City headquarters last week, startup Nikola Motor Company (NMC) unveiled the first public prototype of its Nikola One Class 8 hydrogen fuel cell range-extended electric truck, as well as renderings of the Nikola Two Class 8 day cab version. The company also announced its plan for a network of 364 hydrogen fueling stations across the US and Canada (Nikola is bundling fuel with the truck), and unveiled a 107 kWh battery pack for the Nikola Zero UTV along with a business plan to sell packs to OEMs.
The Nikola One utilizes a fully electric drivetrain featuring a 320 kWh Li-ion battery pack (32,000 cells) and a nearly 300 kW fuel cell stack powering a 6x4 four-wheel electric drive (four 800V AC motors) with torque vectoring. Delivering more than 1,000 hp (746 kW) and 2,000 lb-ft of torque, the Nikola One will have an expected range of 800-1,200 miles, the company said.
CNG Fuels launches renewable biomethane in UK; heavy-duty fleet operators committing to use
December 04, 2016
In the UK, CNG Fuels launched its renewable biomethane fuel, the most cost-effective and lowest-carbon alternative to diesel for heavy goods vehicles (HGVs). The fuel is 35%-40% cheaper than diesel, and emits 70% less CO2 on a well-to-wheel basis. It therefore offers fleet operators the chance to significantly reduce running costs and emissions. Retailers Waitrose, John Lewis and Argos, as well as hauler Brit European, have already committed to using the new biomethane fuel for their long-distance articulated trucks.
CNG Fuels is the UK’s leading supplier of CNG (compressed natural gas) fuel, and it is now sourcing its entire supply from biomethane. The biomethane is made from the gas harvested through the processing of waste generated by food production, which is then injected directly into gas pipelines. The gas is subsequently compressed at CNG Fuels’ own high-capacity refueling stations in Leyland (Lancashire) and Crewe (Cheshire).
US FTA to award up to $2.75M for zero-emissions public transportation tech
December 01, 2016
The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) announced the availability of $2.75 million of funding for its Zero Emission Research Opportunity (ZERO) (FTA-2017-001-TRI). The ZERO program is to facilitate the advancement, production, and deployment of zero-emission public transportation vehicle technology and related infrastructure.
FTA intends to select, and enter into cooperative agreements with, multiple (up to three) nonprofit consortia to build on past research innovation and development efforts to facilitate the deployment of zero-emission vehicles and associated advanced technology. Eligibility for future ZERO funding opportunities in fiscal years 2017-2020 will be limited to those nonprofit consortia selected under this fiscal year 2017 notice.
NREL report finds hydrogen fuel cell bus fuel economy up to 1.4x that of diesel, 1.9x CNG
The US Department of Energy (DOE) Fuel Cell Technology Office (FCTO) has released the latest edition of an annual report showing that the average fuel economy of fuel cell electric buses from three fleets is 6.8 miles per diesel gallon equivalent (DGE) (ranging from 5.56 - 7.71 DGE), 1.4 times higher than conventional diesel buses (~4.2 miles per DGE) from one fleet and up to 1.9 times higher than compressed natural gas buses (~3.3 miles per DGE) in another fleet.
This demonstrates significant fuel economy improvement toward the DOE and Federal Transit Administration’s (FTA) target of 8 miles per DGE. FCEB durability has reached 23,000 hours, surpassing FCTO’s 2016 target of 18,000 hours, and range has reached up to 340 miles (547 km), more than 13% above the 2016 target of 300 miles (483 km).
Ballard signs fuel cell supply agreement with Solaris; initial order of 10 modules as range extenders for electric trolley buses
November 30, 2016
Ballard Power Systems has signed a Long-Term Sales Agreement (LTSA) with Solaris Bus & Coach, a bus OEM headquartered in Poland, for the sale and supply of fuel cell modules to support deployment of Solaris fuel cell buses in Europe. An initial order placed under the LTSA is for 10 FCveloCity-HD fuel cell modules, with deliveries planned to start in 2017.
Each 85 kilowatt FCveloCity-HD fuel cell module that has been ordered will be deployed as a range extender in a Solaris Trollino model low-floor trolley bus. Solaris has signed a contract with Rigas Satiksme, the transport operator in the city of Riga, Latvia for 10 of the Trollino trolley buses.
London transport operator Go-Ahead adds two Irizar electric i2e buses to fleet after successful operating results
November 29, 2016
Based on the success of two Irizar 100% i2e electric buses that have been operating in London since June 2015, London’s largest transport operator, Go-Ahead, is incorporating the buses into its fleet and has signed an agreement with Irizar that includes service and maintenance.
For over a year, these two buses have been operating on the busy routes 507, connecting Waterloo Station with Victoria Station, and 521, which connect Waterloo Station with London Bridge Station. The operating data has successfully fulfilled the objectives requested. With this change, both buses will begin to operate for longer periods on the 108 route which runs from Stratford International Station to Lewisham Station with different operating conditions. In addition, Irizar will offer comprehensive maintenance of the buses.
Chevrolet and GMC expand alternative fuel fleet offerings; expanded CNG/LPG lineup
November 22, 2016
Chevrolet and GMC are partnering with Power Solutions International, Inc. (PSI) to introduce heavy-duty pickups and full-size vans powered by 6.0-liter V-8 compressed natural gas (CNG) and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG)-capable engines starting in the first quarter of 2017. Chevrolet also will offer CNG and LPG versions of its new Low Cab Forward commercial truck.
The announcement follows the selection of PSI, based in Wood Dale, Illinois, as General Motors Fleet’s preferred upfitter for CNG and LPG trucks. PSI is one of North America’s largest and most experienced providers of integrated turn-key, alternative-fuel powertrain solutions.
Big Blue Bus receives nearly $900K to purchase 58 new Cummins-Westport Near-Zero NOx engines
In California, Big Blue Bus (BBB) will receive $870,000 from the Mobile Source Air Pollution Reduction Review Committee’s (MSRC) Near Zero Engine Incentive Program. Big Blue Bus will use the grant approved by the MSRC partially to fund the purchase of 58 new Cummins-Westport 8.9L ISL G Near-Zero (NZ) 0.02 NOx engines. The NZ engine is the first mid-range engine in North America to receive emission certifications from both the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and California Air Resources Board (ARB) meeting the 0.02 g/bhp-hr optional Near Zero NOx Emissions standards. (Earlier post.)
The new engines will be installed over a period of 3 to 4 years, at a rate of 12 to 18 buses per year.
Orange EV approved to give up to $150K discount for electric terminal trucks with NY EV vouchers
November 13, 2016
Orange EV, a manufacturer of battery-electric heavy-duty trucks, announced that fleets in the state of New York can now save up to $150,000 per T-Series pure electric terminal truck (the 160 kWh model; the 80 kWh model is approved for a $123,960 voucher). Discounts are enabled by the New York State Electric Vehicle – Voucher Incentive Fund (NYSEV-VIF). Vouchers may be requested through December 31, 2016.
NYSEV-VIF has $9 million available in voucher incentives for all-electric battery vehicles. The vehicle must be domiciled (registered and garaged) and operate 70% of the time in one of New York State’s 30 counties currently in non-attainment.
NXP and DAF Trucks commit to set new benchmark in truck platooning: 30x faster than human reaction time
November 08, 2016
NXP Semiconductors N.V. and DAF Trucks announced plans to empower truck platoons to react 30 times faster than humans in 2017, enabling a reduced distance between platooning trucks. Achieving this goal would mark a significant milestone in the introduction of platooning to fleet operators who expect considerable efficiency and safety gains while maintaining a maximum level of data security.
In Munich, NXP and its partners are showcasing the progress of secure intelligent transport systems in advance of this year’s electronica show. The demonstrations include platooning live on Munich roads, traffic signal and vehicle synchronization, and technology that protects vulnerable road users based on secure vehicle-to-everything technology (V2X). Platooning promises to increase fuel efficiency up to 10%, improve road safety and reduce exhaust emissions.
Wrightspeed and the Ratto Group introduce range-extended electric refuse truck; 15 trucks over next 12 months
November 02, 2016
Wrightspeed, the leading manufacturer of range-extended electric vehicle (REV) powertrains for heavy-duty applications, and The Ratto Group, a Santa Rosa, California-based refuse, yard waste and recycling collection and processing company, unveiled the first commercial application of a range-extended electric refuse truck. Ratto and Wrightspeed will roll out 15 Route-equipped trucks—retrofits of trucks in Ratto’s fleet—over the next 12 months to meet community needs.
With the support of the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors, communities in Sonoma and surrounding counties will be serviced by a fleet of clean, quiet trucks from The Ratto Group, powered by Wrightspeed’s range-extended powertrain, The Route. (Earlier post.) Designed to deliver economic, environmental and performance benefits in both OEM-installed new vehicles and existing fleet retrofits, The Route is a scalable solution that has been recognized by The State of California for its ability to help meet progressive climate and air quality mandates. Wrightspeed was awarded $7 million in grants by the California Energy Commission to further develop the technology for broad-based adoption.
UPS adding 200 more series hybrid delivery trucks
October 11, 2016
UPS will add 200 new series hybrid electric delivery trucks to the company’s growing alternative fuel and advanced technology fleet. The vehicles have the same 650cc 2-cylinder engine and E-GEN chassis as the 125 vehicles UPS announced earlier this year. (Earlier post.)
Equipped with lithium ion batteries and a range-extender engine, these trucks will deliver significant fuel economy equivalency gains, approximately four times the fuel economy of a gasoline powered vehicle. A cloud-based, real time telematics performance monitoring system provides feedback for energy monitoring and route efficiency.
UPS places 50 advanced hydraulic hybrids in its fleet in time for holiday rush
September 30, 2016
United Parcel Service, Inc., the world’s largest package delivery company and a provider of supply chain management solutions, placed 50 Lightning Hybrids hydraulic hybrid delivery trucks in the Chicago metro area. The hybrid systems were partially funded by Drive Clean Chicago, a program that aims to accelerate the adoption of alternative fuel vehicles and infrastructure in Chicago.
The first of the hydraulic hybrid systems were commissioned last week. The hybrid systems are converting Freightliner MT-55s with gasoline engines into cleaner and more fuel efficient delivery trucks and will reduce harmful emissions in Chicago as soon as they are deployed.
Volkswagen Truck & Bus launches RIO: open cloud-based platform for transportation industry digitization
September 21, 2016
At the IAA Commercial Vehicles 2016 show in Hanover, Volkswagen Truck & Bus is presenting itself to the public for the first time as a group of strong brands: MAN, Scania, Volkswagen Caminhões e Ônibus and Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles.
In addition to numerous new products, Volkswagen Truck & Bus is emphasizing alternative drives and connected commercial vehicles. In addition to electromobility for commercial vehicles—from the Volkswagen e-load up! to MAN’s heavy-duty distribution eTruck—Volkswagen Truck & Bus is launching RIO—a new brand bundling digital solutions for transportation & logistics into a cloud-based open platform that can serve as the “operating system” for the entire transportation industry.
Proterra launches new Catalyst E2 series electric bus with nominal range of up to 350 miles
September 12, 2016
At the American Public Transit Association (APTA) Annual Meeting, Proterra unveiled the newest addition to its fleet of electric buses: the Catalyst E2 series, named for its Efficient Energy (E2) storage capacity of 440 - 660 kWh. Last month, an E2 series vehicle achieved a new milestone at Michelin’s Laurens Proving Grounds where it logged more than 600 miles (966 km) on a single charge under test conditions.
Its nominal range of 194 - 350 miles means the Catalyst E2 series is capable of serving the full daily mileage needs of nearly every US. mass transit route on a single charge and offers the transit industry the first direct replacement for fossil-fueled transit vehicles. The high-mileage Catalyst E2 series joins the existing Catalyst FC and XR series vehicles, designed for circulator and intermediate-mileage routes, respectively.
Ballard providing ten 30 kW fuel cell modules to UpPowerTech; expanding into China’s Guangxi Province
September 08, 2016
Ballard Power Systems has signed a purchase order from Shenzhen UpPower Technology Co., Ltd. (UpPowerTech), a leading fuel cell bus systems integrator in China, for the supply of 10 FCveloCity-MD 30 kW fuel cell power modules to be integrated by UpPowerTech into clean energy buses manufactured by Gaungxi Yuanzheng New Energy Co. Ltd. (Yuanzheng), a Chinese bus manufacturer, for deployment in the City of Nanning in the Province of Guangxi.
UpPowerTech previously demonstrated a hydrogen fuel cell bus, using Ballard’s new FCveloCity-MD 30-kilowatt fuel cell power module as a battery range extender, during the “4th Shenzhen International Low Carbon City Forum.” The bus was a 12-meter (40-foot) city bus with a powertrain built by UpPowerTech. The coach was manufactured by Xiamen King Long United Automotive Industry Co., Ltd. The Forum, held in Longgang District of Guangdong Province, featured low carbon urban development and innovation technologies designed to tackle global environmental challenges.
Mercedes-Benz Vans strategic initiative adVANce: holistic system solutions for transport; electric Vision Van
September 07, 2016
Mercedes-Benz Vans has launched an initiative it calls adVANce, focused on the company’s transformation from solely a vehicle manufacturer to becoming a provider of holistic system solutions for goods and passenger transport.
Mercedes-Benz Vans also presented the "Vision Van" van study as part of the adVANce initiative. This all-electric vehicle combines various innovative solutions for last-mile delivery in urban and suburban environments. It is the first van worldwide to fully digitally connect all people and processes involved, from the distribution center to the consignee. Furthermore, it is the first van ever to feature a fully automated cargo space and integrated delivery drones.
Ballard MOU with strategic partner Broad-Ocean targets fuel cell modules for buses and commercial vehicles
September 01, 2016
Ballard Power Systems has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with strategic partner Zhongshan Broad-Ocean Motor Company Limited with the goal of producing fuel cell modules for use in buses and commercial vehicles in select cities and regions in China.
In July, Broad-Ocean announced a $28.3-million strategic equity investment in Ballard, through which Broad-Ocean acquired a 9.9% ownership position in Ballard, making it the company’s largest shareholder. (Earlier post.)
XL Hybrids awarded DOE Small Business Vouchers Pilot; testing of first diesel/XL3 combo at Argonne
August 30, 2016
XL Hybrids, Inc. has been awarded test funding from the US Department of Energy (DOE) Small Business Vouchers Pilot (SBV). Testing validation and analysis of its XL3 Hybrid Electric Drive System for Reach walk-in commercial vans will be performed at Argonne National Laboratory. The goal of the SBV-funded project is to overcome specific technical challenges, the company said.
The Reach van from Utilimaster is a high-roof Class 3 delivery van that comes with a standard 151.4 inch wheelbase and the high efficiency 3.0L, 150 hp, Isuzu DOHC I-4 diesel engine. The XL3 hybrid system is available on the Reach van with 2,500 pounds payload capacity with the XL3 system installed. (Hybrid system weight is 385 lbs / 175 kg.)
Select truck fleets boosted fuel economy 3% in 2015 compared to national Class 8 average
August 28, 2016
Seventeen trucking fleets operating more than 62,000 tractors and 217,000 trailers recorded a 3% increase in fuel economy in 2015, saving an accumulative $501 million on fuel when compared to the 2015 national average fuel spend of 1.7 million over-the-road class 8 trucks. They achieved these gains by purchasing a variety of fuel efficiency technologies, according to the Annual Fleet Fuel Study released by the North American Council for Freight Efficiency (NACFE).
As a result of these investments, fleet-wide mpg increased from 6.87 to 7.06 in 2015, the largest margin of improvement in eight years of consecutive improvements. The trade cycle for these fleets is a little over five years, meaning that the new trucks are about 16% more efficient than the 2010 model year trucks they replaced.
BC government unveils climate plan
August 23, 2016
The government of British Columbia recently unveiled its Climate Leadership Plan, targeting the reduction of net annual greenhouse gas emissions by up to 25 million tonnes below current forecasts by 2050 and the creation of up to 66,000 jobs over the next ten years. BC’s target is to reduce 2050 emissions 80% below 2007 levels.
The plan’s initial 21 action items include making electric vehicles more affordable and boosting the Low Carbon Fuel Standard from 10% to 15%. Government is also targeting making buildings more efficient, sequestration opportunities in forests and emission reductions in natural gas production and processing.
Sumitomo and US Hybrid partnering to grow hydrogen fuel cell business for commercial vehicles and mass transit
August 12, 2016
Sumitomo Corporation together with Sumitomo Corporation of Americas (collectively, SC Group) announced a strategic collaboration agreement with US Hybrid to grow US Hybrid’s fuel cell production business through the expansion of fuel cell stack production capacity. (Earlier post.) SC Group will play an integral role in the project by coordinating discussions with OEMs using the integrated trading company’s global network.
US Hybrid, together with its Fuel Cell division, US FuelCell, has more than 26 years of experience in fuel cell balance of plant components and vehicle development and deployment. US FuelCell was established in 2013 after US Hybrid purchased the UTC Power PEM fuel cell Transportation division along with the global PEM IP license. The company currently offers an 80 kW integrated fuel cell system (FCe 80) and a 150 kW system (FCe150).
Urban Drive Cycle Testing shows a 26% mpg improvement on Ford Transits with XL Hybrids drive system
August 10, 2016
XL Hybrids announced vehicle testing results showing a 26% improvement in miles per gallon on the EPA UDDS (Urban Dynamometer Driving Schedule) drive cycle for Ford Transit vans upfitted with XL3 Hybrid Electric Drive Systems. (earlier post) The fuel economy improvement on the EPA UDDS drive cycle also includes a more than 50% reduction in NOx emissions.
Conducted at an independent, EPA-certified chassis dynamometer testing lab, the test results mirror earlier EPA UDDS chassis dyno performance for Chevrolet and GMC 2500 Express and Savana vans equipped with XL Hybrids’ technology.
UPS hits target of 1 billion alternative-fueled miles one year early
August 02, 2016
UPS has achieved its goal of driving 1 billion miles in its alternative fuel and advanced technology fleet one year earlier than planned, and marked more than 10 years of learning from its “Rolling Laboratory” of now more than 7,200 alternative fuel vehicles.
UPS’ long-term commitment to sustainability is transforming commercial transportation and logistics, spurring growth in the clean fuels market and enabling critical engineering advances. The company’s wider sustainability progress is detailed in the newly released 14th annual Sustainability Report.
TARC rolls out six new Proterra battery-electric buses; fleet total of 15
The Transit Authority of River City (TARC), serving the Greater Louisville area, has begun adding six new all-electric Proterra buses along the Fourth Street corridor between downtown and Iroquois Park, stopping at some of the city’s most popular destinations. With the new buses, TARC will have a total of 15 all-electric buses on the road, making it one of the largest electric bus operators in the country.
The buses, a $4.65 million investment, were funded primarily with a $3.3 million grant from the Federal Transit Administration’s Low or No Emission Vehicles Deployment Program. Other federal and local funding covered the remaining costs. With the six new buses, TARC’s all-electric fleet is the second largest of its kind in the country, and the largest east of the Mississippi.
Ballard Power signs deal for production of fuel cell stacks in China; est. $168M over 5 years; buses and commercial vehicles
July 18, 2016
Ballard Power Systems signed definitive agreements with Guangdong Nation Synergy Hydrogen Power Technology Co. Ltd. (Synergy) for the establishment of an FCvelocity-9SSL fuel cell stack production operation in the City of Yunfu, in Guangdong Province. The fuel cell stacks will be packaged into locally-assembled fuel cell systems and integrated into electric buses and commercial vehicles in China.
Subject to closing, the transaction has a contemplated minimum value to Ballard of $168 million over 5-years and includes these key elements:
ABB wins 1st commercial order for 600 kW 15-second flash charging technology; electric buses in Geneva
July 15, 2016
ABB has been awarded orders totaling more than $16 million by Transports Publics Genevois (TPG), Geneva’s public transport operator, and Swiss bus manufacturer HESS, to provide flash charging and on-board electric vehicle technology for 12 TOSA (Trolleybus Optimisation Système Alimentation) fully electric buses (e-buses) which will run on Line 23, connecting Geneva’s airport with suburban Geneva.
ABB will deliver and deploy 13 flash-charging stations along an urban transit bus route, as well as three terminal and four depot feeding stations. This will be the world’s fastest flash-charging connection technology taking less than 1 second to connect the bus to the charging point. The onboard batteries can then be topped-up in 15 seconds with a 600-kilowatt flash charge at the bus stop. (Earlier post.)
Opinion: Feet where our heads should be: Are we going about EVs the wrong way round?
July 08, 2016
by Roger Bedell, Founder, Opbrid
Are we looking at vehicle electrification upside down? Why are we focusing on electrifying smaller vehicles like cars and delivery trucks when electrifying really big trucks makes the most economic sense?
Electricity is about ½ the cost of diesel or gasoline. This means the more fuel you burn, the more money you save. Heavy long-haul trucks are the kings of fuel consumption, so therefore they are the best target for electrification from an economic standpoint. A 40-ton long-haul truck driving at 60 mph (about 100 km/h) uses between 8 to 13 gallons of diesel per hour according to a detailed Swedish survey. This is 20 to 30USD per hour, or in the UK, 40 to 60 USD per hour! This makes fuel costs much higher than a driver’s salary on a per hour basis, and is the largest percentage cost item for trucking companies. If fuel costs can be cut in half by switching to electricity, electrification can be very interesting indeed for a truck operator.
Route Monkey and Sygic parter on route optimization for EVs
June 27, 2016
Scotland-based route optimization specialist Route Monkey (earlier post) has signed a partnership agreement with global GPS navigation expert Sygic. The partners aim to develop jointly a fully integrated optimization and navigation platform for electric vehicles (EVs).
The new platform will see Route Monkey schedule a fleet’s EVs—as well as its conventional vehicles—in a way that optimizes the fleet as a whole. It then sends the best route for the entire itinerary to each driver, directly into the Sygic Navigation app. Working together, Sygic and Route Monkey can also schedule stops at charge points en route to top-up the batteries, and provide real-time navigation to recharging stations.
BYD announces its first 16 electric buses sold in France; RATP trial; expanding capacity in China
June 19, 2016
At the Transport Publics event this last week in Paris, BYD announced orders for 16 of its all new battery-electric buses and coaches to French operators. BYD also announced a six-month trial with Paris operator RATP and unveiled its 12 meter single deck bus—displayed for the first time in France. BYD is the world’s largest manufacturer of battery-electric buses, having produced 10,000 units so far.
BYD France’s first customer is B.E. Green of Yvelines near Paris which has ordered three BYD pure electric coaches and one 12m BYD ebus to add to its 100% electric fleet. The Nedroma Group of Athis Mons, also close to Paris, has ordered 12 BYD electric coaches—the largest order so far for this new model from a Western customer.
BMW to supply 100 i3 EVs to LAPD
June 09, 2016
BMW of North America won its bid to supply the Los Angeles Police Department with 100 battery-electric BMW i3 vehicles for use in the department’s transportation fleet. (Earlier post.) Los Angeles currently has a 50% EV procurement guideline for all new light duty fleet vehicles, which will go to 80% by 2025 as called for in the Los Angeles Sustainable City pLAn.
The announcement comes after a field trial during which a BMW i3 was evaluated alongside other EVs on the streets of Los Angeles as part of the LAPD’s every day fleet. Ultimately, the BMW i3 was selected due to a combination of EPA rated best-in-class efficiency, reliability and state-of-the-art ConnectedDrive services, which can be used to support fleet management applications. BMW’s knowledge of charging infrastructure and the availability of a large network of BMW i centers for servicing the fleet in a convenient and cost effective way also played into the decision, the company said.
Santa Monica signs 5-year deal with Clean Energy for renewable LNG for bus fleet; deploying CWI Near-Zero NOx engine
June 02, 2016
The City of Santa Monica, California has awarded Clean Energy a multi-year liquefied natural gas (LNG) contract to fuel its Big Blue Bus (BBB) fleet of vehicles. The 5-year deal, worth an estimated $3 million per year, will enable BBB to continue using Clean Energy’s Redeem brand of renewable natural gas (RNG), rated up to 90% cleaner than diesel. BBB began using Redeem by Clean Energy in January 2015. (Earlier post.)
BBB, one of the first transit agencies in the nation to contract for Redeem, will also become one of the first agencies to incorporate the new Cummins-Westport 8.9L ISL G Near-Zero 0.02 NOx engine, the first mid-range engine in North America to receive emission certifications from both US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Air Resources Board (ARB) in California that meet the 0.02 g/bhp-hr optional Near Zero NOx Emissions standards. (Earlier post.) ARB has defined this certified Near Zero NOx emission level as equivalent to a 100% battery truck using electricity from a modern combined cycle natural gas power plant.
Furrer + Frey proposes tractor swapping as solution for electrification of long-haul trucking
May 30, 2016
Furrer + Frey, a provider of rail electrification and rapid charging systems for transport, is proposing tractor swapping as a solution for the electrification of long-haul trucking. Furrer + Frey is a long-time partner of Opbrid, the provider of the overhead pantograph-based ultra-fast charging Opbrid Bůsbaar for buses (earlier post).
At IAA 2014, Opbrid introduced the Trůkbaar for heavy-duty trucks; the Trůkbaar is one element for the Furrer + Frey tractor swapping solution. Furrer + Frey has also acquired Opbrid, and folded it into its operations. (Earlier post.)
Pasha, Port of LA and California ARB partner on $26.6M Green Omni Terminal demo project; emerging zero and near-zero emission tech
May 26, 2016
Pasha Stevedoring and Terminals L.P. and the Port of Los Angeles are launching the Green Omni Terminal Demonstration Project, a full-scale, real-time demonstration of zero and near-zero emission technologies at a working marine terminal.
At full build out, Pasha will be the world’s first marine terminal able to generate all of its energy needs from renewable sources. The $26.6-million project is funded in part by a $14.5-million grant from the California Air Resources Board (CARB) for reducing greenhouse gases and other pollutants. As part of the project, Pasha will integrate a fleet of new and retrofitted zero-emission electric vehicles and cargo-handling equipment into its terminal operations and demonstrate the latest generation of advanced technology for capturing ship emissions from vessels unable to plug into shore power at berth.
Geely raises $400M via Green Bonds sale to develop and produce TX5 range-extended electric London taxis
May 22, 2016
China’s Zhejiang Geely Holding Group (ZGH) has raised $400 million through the first Green Bond sale on the offshore market from a Chinese automobile company to support the design, development and production of range-extended electric vehicles by its UK subsidiary, the LondonTaxi Company (LTC), manufacturer of the iconic London Black Cab. The plug-in hybrid TX5 London Cab will be launched in the UK at the end of 2017 and in international markets in 2018.
ZGH is investing £300 million (US$435 million) in LTC’s new research and production facility in Ansty in the West Midlands region of the UK to develop the next-generation TX5. The new model was unveiled last October in London in the presence of the Chinese President Xi Jinping during his state visit to the UK. In addition to a new light-weight aluminium body structure and composite paneling, the TX5 benefits from a range-extended battery-electric vehicle system.
Peapod adds two LH hydraulic hybrids delivery trucks to fleet
May 20, 2016
Peapod, the leading online grocer in the US, took delivery of its first two hydraulic hybrid delivery trucks this month. The vehicles, existing Workhorse walk-in vans with GM gasoline engines and equipped with the Lightning Hybrids Energy Recovery System (ERS), are in service on the streets of Chicago and were partially paid for by the Drive Clean Chicago voucher program for clean vehicles.
The trucks, the first hydraulic hybrids in Peapod’s fleet of approximately 130 vehicles in the Midwest, are expected to reduce fuel consumption, reduce brake maintenance costs and cut emissions significantly in Peapod service neighborhoods.
Nissan lands world’s largest electric taxi fleet deal; 110 new LEAF 30 kWh units to Madrid
May 19, 2016
Nissan and La Ciudad del Taxi have announced the world’s largest 100% electric taxi fleet deal that will see 110 Nissan LEAF 30 kWh vehicles providing taxi services in Madrid.
Announced at the Madrid Motor Show, the agreement signed between Nissan and La Cuidad del Taxi will introduce electric taxis into the Spanish capital, putting Madrid up there with other like-minded capital cities such as Amsterdam (earlier post), which has taken delivery of 100 Nissan LEAFs and e-NV200s, and Budapest with 65 LEAFs.
Scania delivering 51 hybrid buses to Madrid
May 12, 2016
In June, Scania, part of Volkswagen Truck & Bus GmbH, will begin delivering 51 hybrid Scania Citywide buses to Madrid. These complete buses feature cost-saving and emission-reducing hybrid technology that meets the EU suburban and short distance Class II regulations.
The City of Madrid recently enforced tough temporary measures to tackle pollution, including limiting speed limits and banning passenger car access to the city center if NOx levels exceed acceptable levels. In parallel, the Madrid transport authorities have required bus operators to gradually switch to greener technology; conventional diesel has not been permitted in new bus acquisitions since 2010.
California to award $23.6M for zero-emission drayage trucks at seaports; BYD, Kenworth, Peterbilt, Volvo
May 05, 2016
The State of California is awarding $23.6 million to the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) for a statewide zero-emission drayage truck development and demonstration project. This is the first large-scale demonstration of zero-emission Class 8 trucks that involves major manufacturers, including BYD, Kenworth, Peterbilt (both Paccar companies) and Volvo. The companies receiving funds have the engineering resources, manufacturing capabilities and distribution networks to support commercialization of advanced technologies related to moving freight to and from the ports.
The South Coast air district is teaming up with air districts in the Bay Area, Sacramento, San Diego and San Joaquin Valley to make the project a statewide demonstration of 43 zero-emission battery electric and plug-in hybrid drayage trucks built by the four manufacturers serving major California ports. Demonstration trucks and charging infrastructure will be used in all five air districts, providing emission reduction benefits in key areas of California with drayage truck activity.
Study suggests high-mileage light-duty fleets contribute higher emissions and emissions share than expected
May 04, 2016
A study by researchers from the University of Denver and the University of Puget Sound indicates that high-mileage light-duty fleets contribute higher emissions and emissions share than expected based on their actual numbers in the fleet.
In their open-access paper, published in the ACS Journal Environmental Science & Technology, they estimate that these small fleets, which represent less than 1% of the total, may be overlooked as a significant emission source (>2−5% of fleet emissions).
UPS updates 125 Workhorse E-GEN series hybrid electric step vans with smaller genset engine for better fuel economy
May 03, 2016
UPS announced an update to 125 Workhorse E-GEN series hybrid electric delivery trucks that improve fuel economy as part of the company’s broader Rolling Laboratory approach.
A compact, quiet-running 650cc 2-cylinder engine replaces the previous 2.4L 4-cylinder engine; charging capability remains the same, as does the electric range. The smaller engine will improve fuel economy, however. The updated trucks, which were originally purchased in September 2015, deliver up to four times the fuel economy of a gasoline-powered vehicle, UPS said. The trucks will be deployed in Alabama, Arizona, Georgia, Florida, Mississippi, Nevada, Ohio and Texas later this year.