April 27, 2010
by Purchasingb2b Staff
Vancouver, British Columbia-based Rapid Electric Vehicles (REV) has delivered its first all-electric light-duty SUV for use in a North American commercial fleet.
Ontario-based Burlington Hydro Inc (BHI) is the first organization to use the REV 300 ACX, a retrofitted Ford Escape producing zero tailpipe emissions. The vehicle—which was developed specifically for use in fleet applications—is built around REV’s modular electric drive system, which uses the chassis of Ford Escapes and F-150s.
The ACX has a range of 160km, with a top speed of 144km/h. Each vehicle is outfitted with smart grid and wireless telemetry capabilities.
“This is a first for Canada, made possible by Burlington Hydro’s leadership and REV’s vehicle architecture, designed by our electric vehicle veterans who have more than 30 years [of] experience developing proprietary drive systems and electric energy storage technologies,” said Jay Giraud, REV’s president and CEO.
The vehicle is the focal point of BHI’s Pure Electric Vehicle Demonstration Project, a one-year study being conducted by the University of Waterloo with funding from Transport Canada. The study is meant to lend insight into the operating characteristics of an all-electric fleet vehicle in practical work situations.
Researchers will monitor recharging patterns and requirements, battery health, electricity grid effects and overall vehicle performance, among other factors.
Gerry Smallegange, president of BHI, says the vehicle will help the utility become a leader in the use and development of electric vehicles.
Both REV and BHI say the best opportunities for initial widespread vehicle electrification are in so-called “hub and spoke” fleets like BHI’s, which typically operate from a central point and deploy vehicles with predictable user patterns. This simplifies the recharging process.
“There are thousands of fleets comprised of millions of vehicles across North America…most of which are in daily use,” added Giraud.
“They include utility, couriers, mail, municipal vehicles and numerous other kinds of fleets. Therefore, using electric vehicles will deliver major, immediate environmental benefits for the fleet market today and other OEM platforms in the future.”
Photos courtesy of REV.