April 5, 2011
by Fleet Management staff
TORONTO: 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 per charge and can be fully recharged within six to eight 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 every day 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.