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Emerald Automotive delivery van – Click above to watch video after the jump

Hazelwood, MO will apparently soon be adding hundreds of manufacturing jobs to the region thanks to Emerald Automotive, a recent startup that designs and wants to build electric and diesel powered delivery vans there. Before selecting Hazelwood as their North American manufacturing hub, Emerald Automotive looked at locations in 24 other U.S. states. Some of the reasons for selecting Hazelwood were a skilled and available labor force – a Ford plant once operated in the city – and significant financial incentives.

Specific details on the lightweight delivery van are scarce at the moment, but we do know it will contain a hybrid-electric drivetrain and use an aluminum chassis from Lotus. In a setup similar to a Chevy Volt, the van will run on electric power and have a range extender, possibly a diesel engine. According to Emerald Automotive executive Sharon Heaton, a total range of 475 miles is possible with a diesel, although no mention is made of how big a gas tank they were using. Other possibilities include using a range extender that runs on gas, CNG or biofuels.

With the city of Hazelwood planning on loaning $3 million and the state another $2 million, we sincerely hope the company becomes a success and not a repeat of Green Vehicles. A quick video from a local news station is available after the jump.

[Source: KSDK]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      Chris M
      • 3 Years Ago
      Whoa! If that video description is correct, they're planning to build an electric fuel cell hybrid that runs on CNG or diesel or gasoline! Better efficiency than an IC engine, 475 mile range, and no need for hydrogen facilities! Just hope that's the case. Of course it's possible that the newscasters got it wrong... Or it could be vaporware...
      • 3 Years Ago
      And you all believed an estimated range from an unknown mfg...
      Supplement Your Fuel
      • 3 Years Ago
      Get a Hydrogen hybrid Conversion installed in the SF Bay Area for $1600 for most cars and small trucks. These are HOD (hydrogen on demand) nothing is stored. Plus you get a tax credit for installing hydrogen upgrades. 35%-60% gains. Talk to @hybridwatercar on twitter or tinyurl.com/waterpowered
        Marco Polo
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Supplement Your Fuel
        @Supplement Your Fuel i f you want to advertise, buy advertising space. Stop Spamming.
        Chris M
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Supplement Your Fuel
        They don't work the way they're promoted. Any slight improvement in fuel economy it might produce comes from a dramatic reduction in power and performance. It would be better to use a smaller engine. It takes more energy to make the hydrogen than can be recovered by burning said hydrogen. Electrolysis cell = 50% efficient, IC engine = 15% tp 25% efficient, alternator = 90% efficient. Overall at best, 11% efficient, or 89% energy loss
      • 3 Years Ago
      More politicians playing at venture capitalism with taxpayers money. How long will it take for this one to go down the tubes?
      • 3 Years Ago
      Emerald Automotive describe themselves as a British vehicle maker. As someone based in the UK and constantly monitoring every development in the alternative-fuelled vehicles field, I had never heard of them till this week. I can't find any information so far to indicate that they have ever made a vehicle of any sort. Maybe someone can put me right if I am mistaken there? They namedrop Royal Mail as a possible future customer. I used to work for Royal Mail - they have lent their name to any number of wannabe green vehicle suppliers over the past few decades, but not committed to more than a trial van or two from any of them. Emerald's use of images featuring Royal Mail livery might impress town councillors a few thousand miles away, but it don't impress me much. Perhaps they've seen that Smith Electric Vehicles managed to obtain funding for a facility in Missouri and fancy their chances of following suit?
        • 3 Years Ago
        From the link, "Emerald Automotive is a U.S. company, but it's owned by two entities in the U.K., Andy Tempest, a senior partner at AGT Strategic, which helps develop ultra-low emission, lightweight delivery vans. Tempest is also a former executive with Lotus. The second owner is an international company called Intelligent Energy, which employs 150 people and makes clean power systems for everything from consumer electronics to vehicles." "Intelligent Energy is not just a developer of class leading fuel cell and hydrogen generation technologies; we are also experts in systems design and systems integration." They claim their "Fuel Cell Black Cabs have debuted on the streets of London" and to have made a "Suzuki Burgman Fuel Cell Scooter". But this thing has a flex-fuel diesel motor, so those fuel cell prototypes seem irrelevant. So it's not quite vaporware... UK engineering consultants and fuel cell systems integration company hoping to make a complex diesel hybrid van from scratch in the USA. Good luck with that! What's confusing is I don't see any mention of Lotus making a chassis for an electric van anywhere; the closest is Azure Dynamics is paying Lotus Lightweight Structures to put their Azure ForceDrive electric powertrain in Ford Transit Connects for Europe. Even if they do get a chassis from Lotus and get diesel engines from someone else, it seems a recipe for a hugely expensive van. Meanwhile there's a genuinely brilliant and accomplished auto designer in the UK with the design and prototype for an alt-fuel vehicle and the way to manufacture it: Gordon Murray and the T.25/T.27/T."please... anybody?!" iStream platform.
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