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Merecedez Benz minivan EV

Green Fleet Roundup: Network Rail, UQM, Waste Industries, Halliburton, PacLease

Network Rail has invested in two Mercedes Benz Vito E-Cell all-electric minibuses (pictured) that ferry its employees to and from the train station. The 8-seater minibus has an 80-mile range between recharges. Network Rail says it’s the first battery-powered light commercial vehicle built at a mainstream production facility. An 82 hp (60 kW) electric motor drives the front wheels, allowing the space beneath the load floor to be used to store lithium-ion batteries without intruding on the passenger or cargo area.

Halliburton says it will deploy nearly 100 light-duty compressed natural gas trucks in its US field locations. The recently purchased bi-fuel trucks are part of a pilot program that will save about $5,100 per truck in fuel costs annually.

Waste Industries will use DriveCam’s driver management and safety program for a fleet-wide rollout. DriveCam’s program reduces collisions, fuel costs, risk of audits and lost business and fleets manage the program through its online portal, which works with an in-truck video recorder and fuel management solution to improve fuel efficiency and lower emissions.

UQM Technologies has introduced a propulsion system, the UQM PowerPhase HD 950T, which provides 950 newton meters of torque and is designed for heavier commercial trucks and buses that require higher torque. The propulsion system can be used for all-electric and hybrid vehicles. Its higher torque and lower speed range optimizes engine performance; Proterra is a customer.

Proterra has supplied the first battery electric buses to be used by the San Joaquin Regional Transit District in Northern California. By recharging for 10 minutes every two hours, the buses will be able to operate all through the day. The bus charging station is fully automated, so when a Proterra bus approaches the charge station, it recognizes the bus, guides it into position and charges it without driver interaction.

Fleets in Nevada, Utah, Idaho and Oregon that want to operate LNG trucks without having to buy or lease them can now rent them through PacLease, its franchisee Kenworth Sales and Blu LNG. PacLease developed this program to encourage fleet owners to test LNG trucks in their operations before deciding to lease or invest in them.

Phoenix Marketing International’s research shows that it’s important to display green messaging in automotive advertising, since it increases consumer acceptance and reception of alternative fuel vehicles. The Automotive Advertising Best Practices report says the best performing ads are those that mention hybrid, electric or diesel technology, not the ones that focus only on miles per gallon or other innovations.

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