Sunday, August 22, 2010

New Van Technology May Suit Express Delivery Companies

UK Firm Shows Off Latest Hybrid Technology
Shipping News Feature

UK – Devon based Ashwoods Automotive will be demonstrating their Ford Transit based panel vans at low carbon vehicle event LCV 2010, and simultaneously launching an exciting new technology. So far most clients are non freight based and include the likes of the Environment Agency, Transport for London and the Borders Agency, plus the councils of Camden, Coventry, Gateshead, Hackney, Islington, Leeds and Liverpool but some cargo delivery companies, like Riverford Organics have ordered such vehicles.

Ashwoods is heading a consortium including Citroen, LifeBATT and SevCon to develop a new generation of scalable hybrid drive trains, in a £1.8m project part-funded by the UK Technology Strategy Board. Ashwoods’ proprietary Hybrid Drive system recovers the kinetic energy usually lost through braking or deceleration and can be retro fitted to a Transit in less than four hours. A lithium-ion battery stores the recovered energy and a high efficiency electric motor delivers it to the wheels. This innovative system reduces fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. Because the system is entirely self-powered, it never needs plugging into a charging point and drivers don’t have to worry about the battery running flat.

Ashwoods Hybrid Transit delivers a reduction in fuel consumption of 15-25 per cent, depending on the vehicle drive cycle. Ashwoods is delivering more than 130 vehicles in Phase One of the Department for Transport’s Low Carbon Vehicle Procurement Programme (LCVPP) and is the sole supplier of hybrid vans to the scheme.