Purolator goes green with Canadas first-ever fully electric truck

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TORONTO, Ont. — Purolator celebrated a significant milestone in its commitment to the environment by introducing the Quicksider prototype, a battery-operated electric delivery vehicle.

The Quicksider is the first of its kind in Canada to be used within the courier industry and is a zero emission vehicle while in operation. The emissions associated with charging its battery are expected to be less than 20% of those produced by a conventional diesel-powered curbside delivery vehicle, according to Purolator officials. The Quicksider will be tested and evaluated for performance on the streets of Toronto.

Manufactured by Toronto-based Unicell in partnership with ArvinMeritor, the 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 Purolators national green fleet which includes 19 HEVs and one fuel-cell hybrid electric vehicle that have been in service in Toronto since 2005.

At Purolator we make it our business to know where business is going and clearly its towards sustainable practices that will result in long-term benefits for the environment, customers, employees and business, said Robert Johnson, president and CEO of Purolator. As Canadas 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 aim to 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 development.

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.

For more information on the Quicksider and other green initiatives from Purolator, see Truck News November issue.

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Truck News is Canada's leading trucking newspaper - news and information for trucking companies, owner/operators, truck drivers and logistics professionals working in the Canadian trucking industry.

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