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Green News: Electric Vehicles Gone Postal

small usps truck 300x168 Green News: Electric Vehicles Gone Postal

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With consumers largely avoiding electric cars due to their shortcomings (range, charging infrastructure) the United States Postal Service is already undertaking the electrification of their current Long Life Vehicle (LLV) model to contribute to the green movement.

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AM General and Smith Electric Vehicles (SEV) will be teaming up to complete this project in converting all 178,000 LLVs currently in use. AM General will be responsible for designing and constructing the chassis, or the “engine” of a traditional car, while SEV will build the electric powertrain.

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In August, SEV US Corp, a subset of Tansfield Group PLC, won a $10 million grant from the US Department of Energy (DOE) in order to build a small fleet of electric trucks for demonstration. In order to fulfill its responsibilities to both the DOE and USPS SEV US Corp has mutually agreed with Ford to terminate their current contract.

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In a statement to the public Darren Kell, CEO of Tansfield, stated, The goal is to deliver an electric vehicle that is perfect for the United States Postal Service; a vehicle that is energy efficient, cost-effective, reduces US reliance on oil and lowers greenhouse gas emissions.”

So whether or not an electric vehicle is a part of your future financial plans, plan on having them pay you a visit in the future. Currently there are is no target date for the full electrification of the LLV fleet, but rest assured that your mail will be delivered to you greener than ever.

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One Response to “Green News: Electric Vehicles Gone Postal” Subscribe

  1. Ed Fong November 12, 2009 at 5:06 am #

    this has been done – we (the USPS) had a fleet of 500 Electric LLVs back in 2000-2003 provided through a contract/partnership with Ford Motor Company (their THINK group and Baker Frod Dealership); I believe subsidies were provided by several regulators (SCAQMD and BAAQMD come to mind) and electric power utilities (PG&E, SoCAL Edison. There were also 13 Chrysler EPICs (BEV minivans) in our California fleet. There were purchase options for an additional 5,500 more of these ELLVs. However, the program was canceled for, in my opinion, mysterious reasons…this was the same timeframe that all manufacturers who had test/demonstration EV programs (such as the GM EV-1, Ford Electric Rangers, etc) were cancelled and the vehicles crushed and/or destroyed (the subject of the documentory film “Who Killed The Electric Car?”)…not sure if the 500 ELLVs were destroyed.

    The ELLV was the perfect vehicle for our application (mail delivery) where the length of an average route at the time was about 15 miles…a fully charged ELLV with lead-acid battery pack (not the most current technology) had a range of 40 miles. Upon return from the delivery route, ELLVs were plugged-in to the on-site chargers which were programmed to charge off-peak.

    There was an issue witht the battery packs and the high replacement cost, but the fleet would have been a perfect testbed for the evolving battery technologies…would be nice to find out if those first purpose-built ELLVs are in a mothball fleet somewhere and could be re-activated as part of this “new” “green” campaign….


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