Canadian package delivery company Purolator has been testing a variety of alternative drivetrain vehicles, including hybrid electrics and fuel cells. Their latest entry is a new, purpose-built battery electric vehicle called the Quicksider. The truck was built by a consortium of suppliers including Arvin Meritor, Unicell and several other companies. The sixteen-foot fiberglass-bodied van uses a sodium nickel chloride battery that provides a forty-mile range and a top speed of 65mph. Unicell started development of the vehicle in 2000 and Purolator joined the program in 2003. One of the partners in the program is Electrovaya and they are working on a lithium ion battery pack for testing in the Quicksider. Puralotor will be running the Quicksider in the Toronto area.
Purolator introduces electric curbside delivery vehicle
Canada's largest courier expands green fleet with new environmentally
TORONTO, Sept. 24 /CNW/ - Purolator, Canada's largest overnight courier
company, today celebrated a significant milestone in its commitment to the
environment by introducing the Quicksider prototype, a battery-operated
electric delivery vehicle.
The first of its kind in Canada to be used within the courier industry,
the Purolator Quicksider is a zero emission vehicle while in operation. The
emissions associated with charging its battery are expected to be less than 20
per cent of those produced by a conventional diesel-powered curbside delivery
vehicle. The Quicksider will be tested and evaluated for performance on the
streets of Toronto.
Manufactured by Toronto-based Unicell Limited in partnership with
ArvinMeritor, the Purolator Quicksider combines several operation-enhancing
features including automatic doors, a tighter turning ratio and pneumatic
suspensions that enable the truck to kneel to curb level to unload packages.
With its advanced electric drivetrain, the Quicksider is expected to require
less maintenance than a conventional diesel-powered curbside delivery vehicle.
In addition to the introduction of the Quicksider prototype, Purolator
has also added 30 new hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) to its curbside delivery
fleet across Canada, with 28 in Vancouver, one in Ottawa, and one in Montreal.
These vehicles join Purolator's national green fleet which includes 19 HEVs
and one fuel-cell hybrid electric vehicle that have been in service in Toronto
"At Purolator we make it our business to know where business is going and
clearly it's towards sustainable practices that will result in long-term
benefits for the environment, customers, employees and business," said Robert
C. Johnson, President and C.E.O. of Purolator. "As Canada's largest courier
company, we are proud to continue to lead the industry towards green
alternatives. The Quicksider represents the next step to fulfilling our
commitment to protect and preserve the environment."
Preliminary design work on the Quicksider first began at Unicell in 2000.
In 2003, Purolator joined the development team to provide key insights and
recommendations that would help make the electric vehicle more effective for
use in a courier environment. After analyzing courier routes and terminal
operations with Purolator drivers, managers and engineers, Unicell enhanced
its original designs to include features that will help maximize efficiency in
delivery operations. Drivetrain systems manufacturer ArvinMeritor joined the
project team in 2004 to design and build the electric axle drivetrain,
regenerative braking system, and system integration of motors, gears and
controls for a working prototype vehicle. The Transportation Development
Centre of Transport Canada also supported the project throughout its
Having completed rigorous safety, handling and compliance testing in the
second half of 2006 and early 2007, the Purolator Quicksider will now be
tested and evaluated for performance as part of Purolator's existing green
fleet in Toronto. Following the successful completion of the Quicksider
prototype test pilot, additional Quicksiders will be assembled for more
extensive testing. Sustainable Development Technology Canada, a not-for-profit
corporation created by the Government of Canada, has allocated $2.1 million to
the next phase of the Quicksider demonstration project.
Purolator's expansion of its green fleet is part of the company's
commitment to being a responsible corporation. After analyzing the
environmental impacts of its operations and services, Purolator identified
fleet fuel usage and vehicle air emissions as the best way to reduce its
environmental footprint. Purolator piloted its first HEV fleet in the Toronto
market in 2005 with the goal of eliminating up to 50 per cent of greenhouse
gasses currently emitted with conventional gasoline/diesel delivery vehicles
and reduce fuel consumption by an average of 50 per cent. After more than
414,000 kilometres on the road, the vehicles have saved more than 72,000
litres of fuel and prevented the emission of over 150 tonnes of greenhouse gas
emissions, in carbon dioxide equivalents, as well as associated smog-causing
In addition to its fleet, Purolator has implemented other environmentally
friendly technologies and programs including:
- The recent order of 105 HEVs on the Ford E-450 platform, expected to
be received in the third and fourth quarters of 2008.
- Testing of a zero-emission fuel-cell hybrid electric vehicle
- Construction of an on-site hydrogen production, storage and refueling
and dispensing facility.
- A route optimization program that reduces overall distances traveled
by vehicles thereby minimizing fuel consumption and emissions.
- A strict no-idling rule which imposes an automatic 20-second maximum
idle time on all vehicles, helping conserve fuel and reduce
- An energy efficient lighting program which enables terminals to use
less energy, draw less demand on the electrical grid and produce less
pollution. The result of the lighting retrofit program has been a
40 per cent reduction of energy consumption and energy demand for
- Environmentally responsible packaging, which includes PuroLetters
(and Purolator Express(TM) Envelopes) made from 50 per cent recycled
fibres, including 35 per cent post-consumer fibres, which are
recyclable in virtually all municipal and private recycling programs.
In addition, Purolator boxes are made from 40 per cent recycled
fibres including 35 per cent post-consumer fibres.