Ballard fuel cell module to power hybrid UPS delivery vans
Ballard Power Systems announced it has signed a contract with Calstart for a Ballard 30 kW FCveloCity-MD fuel-cell module to be used in a trial and development program involving UPS Class-6 delivery vans operating in California's South Coast Air Basin, including much of the Greater Los Angeles area. Funding for the project is being provided by the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) as part of its efforts to reduce air pollution.
"SCAQMD's technology advancement programs have helped to ensure wide-scale deployment of low- and zero-emission heavy-duty on-road technologies, including all classes of trucks and buses, to clean the air in the South Coast basin," said Wayne Nastri, SCAQMD's Executive Officer. "Greater deployment of fuel-cell vehicles is expected to provide a reduction of pollutants, especially in disadvantaged communities that are disproportionately exposed to harmful diesel emissions."
The range of current battery-powered Class-6 UPS delivery vans is only sufficient for a limited percentage of routes, and often not for the majority of routes in any delivery area. This percentage can be further reduced if the delivery locations face unexpected heavier loads, hilly terrain, or colder temperatures. A range-extension solution using Ballard's fuel cell range extender system can address these limitations by boosting drive range and providing certainty of completing daily delivery missions while maintaining zero-emission performance.
Calstart's primary goal for this project is to demonstrate the business case and technical feasibility of deploying fuel-cell hybrid electric Class-6 vehicles with greater range capability such that UPS chooses to deploy as many as 1500 similar vehicles in its California fleet over the next five years—representing a significant percentage of UPS's 8000 California delivery vans—while also demonstrating the economic and technical potential of this technology to other operators of the state’s approximately 650,000 Class 4-to-7 vehicles.
The program with UPS will use a 23,000-lb (10,433-kg) Class-6 delivery van capable of speeds up to 65 mph (105 km/h). The UPS van will be equipped with a 71-kWh lithium ion battery and a 30-kW Ballard fuel-cell engine. Viewed as a replacement for an older diesel delivery van, this zero-emission configuration will deliver a net 24 metric ton reduction in greenhouse gases together with a 0.02-ton reduction in criteria pollutant emissions on an annual basis.
Calstart is a member-supported organization of more than 180 firms, fleets, and agencies worldwide dedicated to supporting a growing high-tech, clean transportation industry. Calstart provides services and consulting intended to spur advanced transportation technologies, fuels, systems, and the companies that make them.
Partners for this program include South Coast Air Quality Management District, UPS, Complete Coach Works (CCW), and Unique Electric Solutions (UES).