• Jan 22nd 2011 at 8:42AM
  • 20
Last month, Purolator announced that it significantly expanded the number of hybrid vehicles in its North American fleet. Now, the Canadian logistics company aims to equip its fleet with at least 200 more gas-electric models. This time around, Purolator has turned to Azure Dynamic to fulfill a 200-unit order for hybrid delivery vans. Michigan-based Azure will supply Purolator with its Balance Hybrid Electric, a vehicle which integrates a Ford E450 chassis with a 4.5-liter gasoline engine and a Johnson Controls-Saft-supplied lithium-ion battery pack.

Azure Dynamics aims to fulfill Purolator's 200-unit purchase beginning in the third quarter of this year. For Azure, this order represents the single largest hybrid vehicle request that the metro Detroit company has received to date. Scott Harrison, chief executive officer of Azure Dynamics, said that Purolator's order is significant because it's a stepping stone for the company and symbolic of the sales growth that Azure anticipates in the future. Harrison stated:
This order represents the culmination of our Balance(TM) Hybrid Electric efforts over the past several years. More importantly, the order represents a catapult into 2010 and beyond. Our product IS delivering on its promises and becoming the preferred hybrid electric technology solution for hard working, urban delivery truck and shuttle bus applications. As a result, our volume is up, costs are down and we're engaging new and repeat customers who increasingly understand our value proposition.

Azure Dynamics is also responsible for electrifying the Ford Transit Connect Electric. Details here.

[Source: Azure Dynamics]

PRESS RELEASE

Azure Dynamics Receives Record Truck Order From Purolator Couriers


OAK PARK, MI, Dec. 14 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ - Azure Dynamics Corporation (TSX: AZD) - ("Azure") or (the "Company"), a leading developer of state-of-the-art green technologies that address environmental and cost issues for the commercial transportation industry, announced today that Purolator Courier Ltd. ("Purolator") has placed an order for an additional 200 Balance(TM) Hybrid Electric delivery trucks. The 200 unit purchase is Azure's largest revenue order to date and also the highest volume Balance(TM) Hybrid Electric order since the product launched in the summer of 2008. The new trucks join approximately 205 other Azure trucks already at work in Purolator's fleet. The trucks will be delivered in 2010.

"This order represents the culmination of our Balance(TM) Hybrid Electric efforts over the past several years," said Scott Harrison, Azure Dynamics Chief Executive Officer. "More importantly, the order represents a catapult into 2010 and beyond. Our product IS delivering on its promises and becoming the preferred hybrid electric technology solution for hard working, urban delivery truck and shuttle bus applications. As a result, our volume is up, costs are down and we're engaging new and repeat customers who increasingly understand our value proposition."

"Purolator is a responsible corporation that protects and preserves the environment by reducing the impact of its operations and services," said Serge Viola, Director, National Fleet and Ground Line Haul for Purolator. "Our new order of Azure's hybrid electric trucks reflects our continued confidence in the performance of their vehicles. Meanwhile, the technology helps us by substantially reducing tailpipe emissions, reducing operating costs and improving fuel economy and up time."

Azure Dynamics continues an active fourth quarter that has seen significant developments in each of its primary product lines. The Azure Balance(TM) Hybrid Electric vehicles ordered by Purolator are integrated on a Ford E450 chassis. The hybrid electric drive train, with unique attributes like engine-off at idle and below 20 miles per hour, while electronically supporting key ancillary functions like power steering and braking, is ideally suited for commercial activity in urban environments. The drive train, with a Ford 5.4L gasoline engine, can improve fuel economy by up to 40%, while reducing carbon emissions by up to 30% in city conditions. The drive train also offers a significant reduction in maintenance costs versus conventionally equipped competitors.

For more information about Azure Dynamics and its products, please visit www.azuredynamics.com.

About Purolator

Purolator Courier Ltd. of Mississauga, Ontario is proud of its Canadian heritage. As Canada's largest courier company and one of Canada's 10 Most Admired Corporate Cultures(TM) (2009), Purolator is committed to its customers and over 12,500 employees, including more than 3,500 couriers. From automated solutions to 24 hour pick up and delivery, Purolator provides customers with the services and customized solutions required to get their shipments across town or around the world. Purolator operates Canada's largest dedicated air express fleet and has an extensive service network, with over 140 operations locations, over 140 Shipping Centres, over 550 Authorized Shipping Agents and more than 350 drop boxes.

Purolator has also implemented a company-wide Quality Leadership Process that provides the necessary framework for continuous improvement and operational excellence. As part of its commitment to helping alleviate hunger, Purolator also works closely with Food Banks Canada. Since 2003, Purolator has helped collect more than three million pounds of food for local food banks across Canada. For more company information please visit www.purolator.com.

About Azure Dynamics

Azure Dynamics Corporation (TSX: AZD) is a world leader in the development and production of hybrid electric and electric components and powertrain systems for commercial vehicles. Azure is strategically targeting the commercial delivery vehicle and shuttle bus markets and is currently working internationally with various partners and customers. The Company is committed to providing customers and partners with innovative, cost-efficient, and environmentally-friendly energy management solutions. For more information please visit www.azuredynamics.com.

The TSX Exchange does not accept responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.

Forward-looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements. More particularly, this press release contains statements concerning Azure's business development strategy, projected commercial revenues and product deliveries.

The forward-looking statements are based on certain key expectations and assumptions made by Azure, including expectations and assumptions concerning achievement of current timetables for development programs, target market acceptance of Azure's products, current and new product performance, availability and cost of labor and expertise, and evolving markets for power for transportation vehicles. Although Azure believes that the expectations and assumptions on which the forward-looking statements are based are reasonable, undue reliance should not be placed on the forward-looking statements because Azure can give no assurance that they will prove to be correct. Since forward-looking statements address future events and conditions, by their very nature they involve inherent risks and uncertainties. Actual results could differ materially from those currently anticipated due to a number of factors and risks. These include, but are not limited to, the risks associated with Azure's early stage of development, lack of product revenues and history of losses, requirements for additional financing, uncertainty as to commercial viability, uncertainty as to product development and commercialization milestones being met, uncertainty as to the market for Azure's products and unproven acceptance of Azure's technology, competition for capital, product market and personnel, uncertainty as to target markets, dependence upon third parties, changes in environmental laws or policies, uncertainty as to patent and proprietary rights, availability of management and key personnel, and acquisition integration risk. These risks are set out in more detail in Azure's annual information form which can be accessed at www.sedar.com.

The forward-looking statements contained in this press release are made as of the date hereof and Azure undertakes no obligation to update publicly or revise any forward-looking statements or information, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, unless so required by applicable securities laws.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 20 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      I am in Vancouver on a business trip from my home in Washington DC. I made a visit to Burnaby, the birthplace of Azure Dynamics. I already have a position in Azure Dynamics stock after first learning about the company at the X-Prize competition in Washington DC earlier last year. After this Vancouver visit, I understand the company much better. One needs to know that prices in Vancouver are mostly double the prices in the US on everything. Vancouver is on $5/gallon gas, as well. The public buses are all electric via overhead electric lines. The subways are all electric. Many of the taxis are hybrids. In speaking to a cabbie, their average daily mileage is 200 mile/day. I expect Vancouver could have a fleet of downtown cabs doing that area exclusively to get the mileage down to 100mile/day, which would be suitable for Azure's Transet Connect Ford EV's, and use the hybrids for the longer trips. In any case, I now understand that the enconomy here in Vancouver is driving the forward thinking we see at Azure Dynamics in the form of EV and Hybrid commercial vehicles. This trip to Vancouver has been “time machine" like for me. Most of the urban metro US will soon arrive at the same place as Vancouver in the very near future.

      Right now it seems many in the US are lagging and resisting in these types of solutions. Many in the US companies are hanging on desperately to the fossil fueled vehicles while they are still sitting at $3.00/gallon gas. Much of this thinking seems to be denial and resistance to needed changes. Certainly many in the US could learn a great deal doing a visit to Vancouver, as I have. The US will be at $5.00 gas soon enough and thinking will have to change. It’s very logical to first convert our commercial vehicles and public transportation in the urban areas to EV and hybrids. It seems to me that the US companies that embrace the idea of converting their fleets in this way will be the new leaders. The savings in fuel cost and maintenance go directly to the bottom-line, and those that lag/resist will be unable to compete. I believe I have made a very sound investment in the Azure Dynamic's commercial EV and hybrid products. Clearly these products are leading the way in the Canada enconomy already. I believe Azure Dynamics products will have a very bright future in the US with their years of EV and hybrid experience. Azure Dynamics is headquartered in Michigan. I here a trip coming up to that area and will do a visit there as well. The work the company is doing is interesting and worth a second look.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Apparently these electric delivery trucks are starting to become a hot item. Between tax-credits, driver happiness, low fuel costs, low maintenance costs . . . fleet managers are loving them!

      http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-01-20/frito-lay-staples-salesmen-compete-for-keys-to-electric-delivery-trucks.html

      That is great news since these trucks will increase Li-Ion battery & EV component production thus bringing up manufacturing scale and driving down costs.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Yeah, other estimates I have seen put maintenance costs on EV's still lower, a South African company whose name escapes me puts it at 50%.
        In addition Smith Electric who have more experience than anyone else of running electric fleets, albeit commercial vehicles, give low costs but unfortunately do not break them out between savings on fuel and maintenance.
        I like the Peugeot figures because they are absolutely solid and checkable, but as you say they have likely given themselves a generous margin.
        • 4 Years Ago
        And Peugeot probably collects more profit on that electric maintenance contract. Fewer moving parts & liquids = fewer repairs.
        • 4 Years Ago
        If you take out a maintenance contract with Peugeot for your electric vehicle, it is 30% cheaper than for the petrol equivalent - firm evidence of reduced maintenance costs.
      harlanx6
      • 4 Years Ago
      In business you have to do it, because your competitors will and any decrease in fuels costs is pure profit. Don't make the mistake of thinking they are doing it because they want to be "green". They are doing it because it makes economic sense.
        • 4 Years Ago
        @harlanx6
        David Martin is very correct in his analysis of home fuel cell units. They are indeed a major step forward in increasing energy efficiency while simultaneously decreasing GHG emissions. Whether the homeowner decides to use the units to create electricity to charge a BEV or to provide H2 for an HFCV, well, at least the homeowner has the option to choose what suits their situation best.

        As for heat pumps, pardon me, but I've always been told that they work well down to a certain temp, and that below that temp they're pretty weak. I live in the fairly warm South, and heat pumps are indeed quite popular - but almost everyone has to have a back-up heating system for when temps drop into the 30'sF. I understand that the "emergency heat" supplied by many heat pumps is simply electric coils - which we all know to be very inefficient.

        Feel free to correct me, but I've helped many friends install gas furnaces, after they've seen their electric usage (read: bills) skyrocket during cold snaps.
        • 4 Years Ago
        @harlanx6
        Thanks David Martin - I wasn't aware of that heat pump variation. As I mentioned - it doesn't really get very cold here often, or for long periods. I'm not surprised that the heat pumps popularly installed here are a "lighter" variety, and I'm glad to hear a more robust version exists.
        harlanx6
        • 4 Years Ago
        @harlanx6
        David:
        An interesting scenario suggesting fuel cells could be the solution, in the back of my mind is still the question, what are they burning to produce the electricity they are using to produce the hydrogen? IF it's nuclear, wind or solar I am all for it, because those sources wouldn't be increasing demand for the carbon based fuels in demand now. Because the laws of physics do not allow producing energy from nothing, it makes no sense to me to produce hydrogen from other existing fuels, as it takes more energy to produce hydrogen than you can ever get out of it. Every time you convert energy from one form to another you will also suffer loss. My main concern is economic, and using imported energy is killing the economy. I know many believe man caused greenhouse gases are causing climate change, and I just don't buy that. 99.28% of greenhouse gases are of natural origin. Their argument is very weak, and cyclical variations in solar output seem to be the most likely cause of climate variations. I will now be attacked by the lockstep left, who believe everything they read in the mass media. The correct information is out there, but it requires effort to sift it out of all the misinformation, disinformation and out and out lies we are continually exposed to. I don't suggest you should believe what I write, but you should determine what you believe from your own research. It may lead you to an entirely different conclusion from mine, but that's OK. You will believe what makes sense to you. In the end, the truth will triumph. Conventional wisdom over time is nearly always proven to be wrong.
        • 4 Years Ago
        @harlanx6
        @harlan:
        Looking at the hard commercial reality, firms most certainly do position themselves as green, even at the cost of some extra expense.
        Why would that be? Some of it is to do with image, which is an entity which is shown in assets for companies, and so may be arguably green washing.
        However, a lot of it is simply responsible management.
        If oil prices are uncertain and may rise rapidly, which is certainly a scenario which is very possible, then you have to have your company well positioned to respond rapidly.
        By running test fleets of electric and hybrid vehicles they can carry out a rapid and large scale switch much more easily, so in strictly accounting terms it can make sense to adopt a rather more expensive option at this time.
        In electrification of transport we have now partly moved beyond this stage though, and many large fleets are converting at large scale.

        Dynamic businesses want to stay in the lead, and electric delivery vehicles etc are part of this.
        harlanx6
        • 4 Years Ago
        @harlanx6
        Green is good, but if you are in business you can't afford the luxury of extra expense for the sake of being green, and generally businesses move to the green side only if it makes economic sense. I am just telling it like it is.
        • 4 Years Ago
        @harlanx6
        You're the one who's not paying any attention to the science, and it's tiresome you keep repeating old canards as if they somehow disprove it.

        "99.28% of greenhouse gases are of natural origin."
        So bloody what? Those are the ones that make the earth warmer than the moon. The issue is what effect the human-caused increase in the concentrations of greenhouse gases has had and will have.

        "Their argument is very weak,"
        No it's not, it's been reviewed over and over by national academies of science (U.S. Academy of Science says it's no longer just likely, it's "settled science") and other groups. It's pathetic that you conflate http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_opinion_on_clmate_change with "mass media".

        "cyclical variations in solar output seem to be the most likely cause of climate variations."
        Definitely not the undeniable increase in temperatures in industrial times.Temperature has been warmer than average for 50-60 years now depending on how you average and what data set you pick, but the solar cycle is only 11 years!
        Here are two sites among many with diagrams of global temperature and solar irradiance over time
        http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/thermo/solact.html
        http://www.skepticalscience.com/solar-activity-sunspots-global-warming.htm
        The conclusion is staring you in the face if you just look at the graphs: 'solar irradiance has not increased significantly in the last 50 years, while the global average temperature has.' END OF STORY.
        • 4 Years Ago
        @harlanx6
        Hi Harlan:
        Picking up on your last comment about where the electricity comes from, since in the West we are still ignoring the obvious way of doing things, building nuclear plants combined with air source heat pumps, I have been looking at the potential of home fuel cells.
        Here is what some in Japan think:
        'But some are optimistic the gas-burning-without-combustion systems could be the answer to soaring fuel costs and lowering carbon emissions.

        Pay-back time

        "Once fuel cells hit the US$5,000 (£3,300) mark, which we imagine will happen in the next 2 years, these units will become as compelling to home owners as energy-saving water-heaters and double-glazing," Tokyo- based entrepreneur and business analyst Terrie Lloyd told the BBC.

        "It will be hard to ignore a product that might save US$2,500 or more a year on energy bills." '

        http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/8563928.stm

        Since the waste heat would be used to heat water, the process approaches 100% efficiency, around 2-2.5 times burning gas in a central power station.

        What has occurred to me, which I may or may not be right about, so would appreciate input, is that this might stand on it's head the usual statement that battery cars would be more efficient than hydrogen ones.
        Now you could simply use your electricity produced by a home fuel cell to power your battery car, but at an earlier stage your equipment would have produced hydrogen by reforming natural gas, so it might be argued that it would be better to use this hydrogen in the car rather than going through the extra step outside of the car of producing electricity to charge the battery.

        Now this may be specious reasoning, and a weakness with this line of argument that occurs to me is that you would have to have equipment, and invest energy, into compressing the hydrogen.
        The energy costs of that look better though if you are using the waste heat.

        Gasified coal could also of course be used to supplement natural gas.
        There are, at any rate, good prospects of much reducing energy use without a commensurate reduction in standard of living.
        Naturally, nuclear with heat pumps would do the job far better! ;-)
        harlanx6
        • 4 Years Ago
        @harlanx6
        I am not disputing what you say, David, only stating successful businesses do the things that will ultimately effect their bottom line positively, and certainly image is one of those things. If they don't, they have difficulty surviving, and in turn providing employment for their people, and revenues to support their governments. I am pro business. To be otherwise is short sighted. As you have stated, many businesses have made the case economically for electrification of at least some of their fleets of vehicles. I suspect this will be an economic advantage over their competitors that are slow to change. Government policies have made electricity cheap. In the back of my mind is always the question "what are they burning to make the electricity?"
        harlanx6
        • 4 Years Ago
        @harlanx6
        I have a lot to learn about HFC technology, David. Thanks.
        • 4 Years Ago
        @harlanx6
        Hybrids make economic sense now? great!!!
        Apartment-dwelling 1 ton truck owners can stop lampooning the green movement now.
        harlanx6
        • 4 Years Ago
        @harlanx6
        I expected your attack, Skier, but you are the one holding to obsolete ideas.
        • 4 Years Ago
        @harlanx6
        LOL. You say that like you hate the concept of actually being associated with anything that cleans up the environment. Like that is something to be embarrassed about and not admit.

        Why? Do you feel like less of a man if you pollute less?
        • 4 Years Ago
        @harlanx6
        Leaving aside issues of climate change, and looking at the statement:
        'Every time you convert energy from one form to another you will also suffer loss.'

        It doesn't quite work that way in the case of home fuel cells, as you are utilising the waste energy, and in any case fuel cells are more efficient than burning gas.
        The basic fuel would be methane, which could either be direct from natural gas or biogas or from gasified coal.

        Using indicative rather than precise figures if you burn natural gas centrally you might get around 40-55% efficiency out of it in producing electricity, and you then have transmission losses for the electricity.
        The only way you can do much better than that is, as in Holland, using the waste heat for district heating systems.

        You do exactly the same thing with home fuel cells. Natural gas is pumped in, and it is reformed to hydrogen on site, which is then used to produce electricity.
        The precise efficiencies will vary according to the type of fuel cell used and so on, but you might hit 60% or so in producing your electricity, with no transmission losses.
        The other 40% is not wasted, as it goes to heat your water for space heating, showering and so on.
        So even though you are converting the natural gas into hydrogen, the overall efficiency is still greater than burning the natural gas in a boiler, at least if you need electricity too.

        Overall, ignoring using it to power cars, you are talking about an efficiency in the US or UK where district heating systems are not common of 2-2.5 times present usage.

        You are still more economical in fossil fuel resources if you use nuclear and heat pumps, but that is a different argument!
        • 4 Years Ago
        @harlanx6
        LTW:
        The info you have about poor low temperature performance applies to heat pumps using conventional refrigerants - mine for instance, as it does fine in the UK climate.
        However the Japanese in particular, led by Fujitsu and Mitsubishi have designed ( and installed by the thousand, we are not talking about prototype technology ) heat pumps using CO1 - the rather disgustingly named 'EcoCute' design.
        These are fine down to around -25C.
        Hallowell, a US company also do them.

        Here is a write up from Sanyo. I believe the figures they give a rather old, and we can do better than that now, but it gives a pretty thorough overview:
        'With SANYO CO2 ECO, the heat pump operates continuously
        in the harsh condition of -25°C, maintaining its performance
        at no less than 4.0kW for the 4.5kW unit and no less than
        8.0kW for the 9.0kW unit. The consistent operation of the
        heat pump at extremely low temperatures is made possible
        by the refrigerant circuit technology developed and refined
        by SANYO.'

        http://www.airconwarehouse.com/acatalog/SANYO_CO2_ECO_Brochure.pdf
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