• Apr 16th 2011 at 1:01PM
  • 8

Canada Post operates the largest fleet of delivery vehicles in all of Canada and, until recently, its fleet lacked a single plug-in vehicle. Now, with the addition of a Navistar eStar electric van, Canada Post has at least one battery-powered package-hauling machine.

The $150,000 Navistar eStar boasts an operating range of 160 kilometers (100 miles) and can be recharged in less than eight hours. Its lithium-ion battery pack, which is supplied by A123 Systems, is quick-change capable and can be swapped out in less than 20 minutes. Each eStar truck, according to Navistar, can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by a claimed 10 tons annually.

The Canada Post operates of more than 7,300 vehicles. Combined, those vehicles rack up in excess of 79 million kilometers (49 million miles) per year. The postal company is researching and testing several types of alternative technology vehicles, including ethanol, biodiesel, natural gas, propane, hydrogen, hybrids and battery-powered vehicles in an effort to reduce the environmental impact of its massive fleet.

[Source: Navistar]
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Canada Post Adds Navistar's eStar All-Electric Trucks to Its Fleet

Fully-Electric Commercial Vehicles to Hit Canadian Roads This April

Toronto, ON – On the heels of announcing it had purchased the first fully electric small delivery vehicles, Canada Post today added the first all-electric step vans in Canada to its fleet. The corporation showcased the first of four all-electric commercial vehicles built by Navistar Inc., an American manufacturer of medium and heavy trucks. The eStar™, a Class 2c-3 electric truck and the first in its category, has a range of 160 kilometres (100 miles) per charge and can be fully recharged within 6 to 8 hours.

"Part of our environmental commitment is to evaluate and proceed with alternate fuel technologies that will offer us a return on investment," said Deepak Chopra, Canada Post President and CEO. "Our trucks are in every neighbourhood in the country everyday and we take pride in our efforts to deliver to our customers in an environmentally responsible way."

With zero tailpipe emissions, each eStar™ truck can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by as much as 10 tons annually. The windshield design provides nearly 180-degree visibility, the low-floor design allows easy loading/unloading and the noise level is nearly non-existent.

Unlike other electric trucks that are reconfigured models of fossil-fuel trucks, the eStar™ truck has been purpose-built for electric power, providing a competitive advantage with a low centre of gravity (the battery is between the frame rails, not mounted on top) and a 36-foot turning radius. The eStar™ is engineered with superior aerodynamics, a walk-though cab and a quick-change cassette-type battery that can be swapped out in 20 minutes, enabling around the clock operation. It is capable of carrying payloads up to two tons.

"For businesses, municipalities and other organizations that demonstrate their environmental commitment, the eStar™ is a smart option," said Mark Aubry, vice president sales and marketing, electric vehicles, Navistar. "The eStar™ is enabling responsible customers who strive to have a positive impact on the environment through energy efficiency."

Canada Post has the largest delivery fleet in Canada – over 7,300 vehicles traveling more than 79 million kilometres a year. The company has made investments in researching and testing alternative technologies including ethanol, biodiesel, natural gas, propane, hydrogen, hybrids as well as electric vehicles to reduce the environmental impact of its fleet.

The eStar™ all-electric truck transitioned from concept to reality in August 2009, when President Barack Obama visited Navistar's manufacturing plant in Indiana to announce $39.2 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds from the Transportation Electrification Initiative administered by the U.S. Department of Energy.

The eStar™ is proudly sold at the Western International dealership in Toronto and in partnership with Kemptville International in Ottawa.

About Canada Post
With 71,000 employees and more than 6,500 post offices, The Canada Post Group – including affiliates Purolator Courier and SCI Group, as well as Innovapost (a joint venture with CGI), maintains the largest retail and transportation network in the country. Canada Post delivered close to 11 billion pieces in 2009 to 15 million addresses across Canada, posting $7.3 billion in revenue. Canada Post provides innovative physical and electronic delivery solutions, creating value for our customers, employees and Canadians. Canada Post has been chosen as one of Canada's Top 100 employers by Mediacorp for the past four years and in 2009 was named "Most Iconic Brand in Canada" by Brand Finance Canada. Website: http://www.canadapost.ca.

About Navistar
Navistar International Corporation (NYSE: NAV) is a holding company whose subsidiaries and affiliates produce International® brand commercial and military trucks, MaxxForce® brand diesel engines, IC Bus™ brand school and commercial buses, Monaco RV brands of recreational vehicles, and Workhorse® brand chassis for motor homes and step vans. It also is a private-label designer and manufacturer of diesel engines for the pickup truck, van and SUV markets. The company also provides truck and diesel engine service parts. Another affiliate offers financing services. Additional information is available at www.Navistar.com/newsroom.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 8 Months Ago
      Bill, I totally agree; depot-based delivery fleets operating over known routes that are well within the range of a single battery charge are the ideal territory for electric trucks and vans. Every postal service worldwide fits this definition.

      Japan Post already declared their intention to switch their entire fleet of local delivery vehicles to EV (shame they started with a Japanese maker that hasn't measured up and had to be dumped). In France, La Poste is doing the same.

      In the US, Smith Electric Vehicles is marketing only its large Smith Newton truck at present - and is selling all it can make. But I expect them to go after the postal business with the smaller Smith Edison when that gets added to the US product range next year. For examples of that van, see the Case Studies page at Smith's european website http://www.smithelectricvehicles.com (go via Rest Of World section). Ford has taken its first real order for its Connie BEV model from a scandinavian postal fleet (reported here recently).

      Depot-based fleets are the one area where range anxiety is never an issue, and where no on-street recharging network is needed. Vehicles are already in production and in use. The faster the uptake, the quicker the upfront purchase prices will fall, as components can be ordered en-masse instead of in sample batches. And that in turn will help the makers of electric cars bring their prices down too.
      • 8 Months Ago
      Here are the test results from the USPS EV prototypes. Go to the bottom right hand of the page, under the heading "FULL-SIZE ELECTRIC"


      USPS eLLV Conversion by Autoport/AC Propulsion/University of Delaware - February 2011

      USPS eLLV Conversion by Bright Automotive - March 2011

      USPS eLLV Conversion by EDAG, Inc. - USA - March 2011

      USPS eLLV Conversion by ZAP - March 2011

      USPS eLLV Conversion by Quantum - April 2011
      • 8 Months Ago
      Now if they could just provide some kind of incentive to their drivers to not complete their 2 hour route in 17 minutes, they'd save another 10 tons per vehicle annually. Maybe then they could afford to drop their prices. It doesn't cost $8 to send a tiny light box across the city, seriously.
      • 8 Months Ago
      Postal delivery vehicles seem the ideal use of EV technology:

      1. range limited (IIRC, under 20 miles average in the U.S.)

      2. only needed one shift, so can charge 10-12 hours overnight. - no quick-charge or battery swap required
      • 8 Months Ago
      As Marcopolo points out, Modec is no more. The Navistar eStar is merely a rebadged Modec van. Are Navistar planning to continue building it themselves now? Or just clearing a handful that remain in stock? When Modec fell into adminstration recently, it revealed that its sales had dwindled year by year, and only two were sold in the whole of 2010.

      • 8 Months Ago
      That truck is so pretty and streamline...I'd be nice to see one of those around here in Alabama =)

      The majority of "in city" routes round here are very short distances, but the post office uses v6 Caravans to deliver the loads. I'm looking forward to the spread of these!!
        • 8 Months Ago
        I agree this looks like a great little mail truck. Switching local slow moving trucks to electric is a big win since EVs have much better efficiency in low speed stop & go traffic.

        Next we need electric street sweepers & garbage trucks.
      • 8 Months Ago
      It's unfortunate that the UK firm responsible for developing this vehicle, Modec, is in severe financial trouble and may disappear.
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