California Gov. Jerry Brown and U.S. EPA regional administrator Jared Blumenfeld called for more electric vehicles as UPS celebrated the deployment of its first pure battery electric delivery vans from Electric Vehicles International, of Stockton, Calif.
Electric Vehicles International president Rick Hanna (far right) and UPS officials and drivers look on as California Governor Gerry Brown called for more electric vehicles at a UPS event in West Sacramento Tuesday. Besides EVI™s new battery electric Freightliner Custom Chassis Corp walk-ins, UPS displayed a CNG delivery van, a CNG yard hostler, and an LNG-fueled Kenworth tractor.
EVI has delivered approximately 50 out of 100 of the Freightliner Custom Chassis Corp vehicles, with drivelines by UQM Technologies, part of a government-backed project initially publicized in the summer of 2011 (F&F, August 29, 2011). Initial delivery began this past summer (F&F, August 5, 2012), and commercial service began last month, says EVI president Ricky Hanna.
“It’s small but it’s important,” Brown said at the West Sacramento event Tuesday. “Climate’s not waiting and we can’t wait either.”
“This is the answer,” said Blumenfeld, “a future that’s more electric than diesel.”
More Trucks, Lower Price
“What we need is to see many more of these.”
He and others want to see more vehicles so that the unit price will drop. According to Blumenfeld, the all-battery FCCC vans cost about $150,000 apiece, compared with about $50,000 for a conventional equivalent.
“This one of the largest deployments of EVs anywhere in the world,” said UPS public affairs chief Laura Lane, who introduced Gov. Brown at the media event. “He was green before it was cool,” she said.
EVI uses lithium iron phosphate batteries from its Valence Technology affiliate in the vehicles, and UQM PowerPhase HD Select 200 drives.
According to UPS, the EVI vans have a single-charge range of up to 75 miles. They will be used primarily to deliver packages to customers in Sacramento, San Bernardino, Ceres, Fresno and Bakersfield.
Many Agencies Helped
UPS credited the California Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development, the California Air Resources Board, the California Energy Commission, the U.S. EPA, the South Coast Air Quality Management District, the San Joaquin Air Pollution Control District and the Sacramento Air Quality Management District with helping make the battery vans possible.
The first 100 are all to be delivered by May.
“We currently operate more than 2,500 alternative fuel vehicles worldwide with a variety of hybrid, electric and natural gas technologies, making UPS the leader in logistics sustainability,” UPS U.S. operations president Myron Gray said in a release.
“We use our technology and logistics expertise to reduce emissions around the world and help test new automotive technologies,” he said.
The 100 vehicles should all be delivered by May, said EVI president Hanna. He described the new vehicle with its aerodynamic Morgan Olson body as “a commercial product [that] will clean the air in California for decades to come.”
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