Ballard range-extender fuel cell module to power hybrid UPS delivery van trial program in California
Ballard Power Systems has signed a contract with CALSTART for a Ballard 30 kW FCveloCity-MD fuel cell module to be used in a trial and development program involving UPS Class-6 delivery vans operating in California’s South Coast Air Basin, including much of the Greater Los Angeles area. Funding for the project is being provided by the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) as part of its efforts to reduce harmful air pollution.
The range of current battery-powered Class-6 UPS delivery vans is only sufficient for a limited percentage of routes, and often not for the majority of routes in any delivery area. This percentage can be further reduced if the delivery locations face unexpected heavier loads, hilly terrain or colder temperatures.
A range-extension solution using Ballard’s fuel cell range extender system can address these limitations by boosting drive range and providing certainty of completing daily delivery missions while maintaining zero-emission performance.
SCAQMD‘s technology advancement programs have helped to ensure wide-scale deployment of low- and zero-emission heavy duty on-road technologies, including all classes of trucks and buses, to clean the air in the South Coast basin. Greater deployment of fuel cell vehicles is expected to provide a reduction of pollutants, especially in disadvantaged communities that are disproportionately exposed to harmful diesel emissions.—Wayne Nastri, SCAQMD’s executive officer
CALSTART’s primary goal for this project is to demonstrate the business case and technical feasibility of deploying fuel cell hybrid electric Class-6 vehicles with greater range capability such that UPS chooses to deploy up to 1,500 similar vehicles in its California fleet over the next 5-years—representing a significant percentage of UPS’s 8,000 California delivery vans—while also demonstrating the economic and technical potential of this technology to other operators of the states’ approximately 650,000 Class 4-to-7 vehicles.
The program with UPS will use a 23,000 lb. Class-6 delivery van capable of speeds up to 65 miles per hour. The UPS van will be equipped with a 71 kWh lithium-ion battery and a 30kW Ballard fuel cell engine. Viewed as a replacement for an older diesel delivery van, this zero-emission configuration will deliver a net 24 metric ton reduction in greenhouse gases (GHGs) together with a 0.02 ton reduction in criteria pollutant emissions on an annual basis.
Partners for this program include South Coast Air Quality Management District, UPS, Complete Coach Works (CCW) and Unique Electric Solutions (UES).