Purolator has ordered an additional 115 diesel-electric hybrid vehicles from Azure Dynamics Corporation, the largest order of it kind in the delivery industry. Purolator has already accumulated more than 20,000 km's (12,000 miles) of in-service mileage after four months of evaluation with the 10 vans received for testing. Pre-production testing has shown that the HEVs are capable of eliminating up to 50 per cent of greenhouse gasses currently emitted with conventional gasoline/diesel delivery vehicles as well as significant reductions in fossil fuel emissions. Deliveries of the first vehicles will commence in 2006. If these vehicles continues to live up to expectations, then as Purolator replenishes its fleet each year, the company intends to add up to 400 HEV vehicles to its fleet annually.
Purolator’s HEVs are equipped with a hybrid series configuration, which uses the internal combustion engine combined with a generator to supply electricity for the battery pack and electric motor. There is no mechanical connection between the internal combustion engine power unit and the wheels. All motive power is transferred electrically to one or more electric traction motors that drive the wheels.
Azure has a demonstration agreement with Zebra, manufacturer of high temperature sodium-nickel-chloride batteries, which have power densities on the order of 100 W/kg. Under the agreement they developed an electric van for display and demonstration purposes. The vehicle was to be available as either a utility delivery van or a passenger minibus. No information was given if these are the batteries being used in these vehicles.
Update 11:00 pm 9/17/05 - Non-withstanding the above agreement, the Green Car Congress Post on this subject accurately reported that NiMh batteries produced by Cobasys are being used in the Purolator HEVs. The Cobasys press release is reference below.
"Purolator to take delivery of 115 Azure hybrid electric vehicles", Purolator press release, 9/16/05
Azure Dynamics, Vancouver, Canada
Zebra Battery made by Beta R&D Ltd, Derby, England
"Azure Dynamics Selects Cobasys NiMHax 336-70 Nickel Metal Hydride Batteries for Hybrid Electric Vehicles", Cobasys press release, 10/1/04