It has been reported that a low emission hybrid van, that is to be sold directly to fleets, designed to cut fuel bills dramatically, could be just around the corner…
…well it’s a two year wait, but it’s a real possibility!
The van is part of the business plan from Intelligent Energy and Revolve Technologies. These are two UK-based companies that have led a consortium of development partners. They also have financial backing from the Technology Strategy Board, a UK Government agency.
Two prototypes have already been produced and they have been taking part in tests at the Millbrook Proving Ground.
Emerald Automotive are to bring the hybrid vans to market. They will be headed by former Lotus finance director and chief operating officer, Andy Tempest. So he certainly knows what he’s doing!
What’s the Story?
The story behind the vehicle is that the Royal Mail had planned to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 50% but was unable to find a vehicle manufacturer that could supply vehicles capable of meeting such needs.
The hybrid van, which will need to be covered by a van insurance quote, will make use of Ford Transit components and Emerald describes it as a Range Extended Electric Vehicle (REEV). A 50kW Ford/PSA 1.4 litre common rail diesel is to be mounted transversely under the bonnet and the engine flywheel will be replaced by a 54kW (72bhp) generator that will supply power to a 25.1kWh lithium-ion battery pack that will be mounted under the cab floor.
A 101bhp electric motor (75kW) is then powered by this and will drive the rear wheels. A regenerative charge is also supplied to the battery pack during braking and downhill running. Does this remind any motorsport fans of the KERS system F1 team’s use?
An electric range of around 60 miles should be achievable, however, with the diesel engine the range can be extended to around 250 miles.
The hybrid van will likely be sold directly to fleets, such as the Royal Mail, in due course. Hopefully the estimated time of arrival of two years is a realistic one!