Businesses in London will soon trial Ford’s plug-in hybrid vans that the automaker says improve fleet productivity while cutting emissions.
The 12-month trial, scheduled to start in the fall, will receive £4.7 million ($5.9 million) in UK government funding. Ford will provide 20 PHEVs to a range of commercial fleets, including Transport for London’s fleet.
The vans will run on electric power for the majority of city trips such as deliveries or maintenance work. They will also have an on-board combustion engine for extended range when longer trips are required and software to collect data on the vehicles’ financial, operational and environmental performance.
Commercial vehicles in London make 280,000 journeys on a typical weekday, traveling a total of 8 million miles. Vans represent 75 percent of peak freight traffic.
Ford launched a similar fleet initiative last year in San Francisco and says it has plans for these types of projects in other major global cities. The automaker has said it will invest $4.5 billion in electrified vehicles by 2020.
In other fleet news, Mack Trucks has partnered with the New York City Department of Sanitation (DSNY) and Oberon Fuels to test the performance of a Dimethyl Ether (DME)-powered Mack Pinnacle model (pictured).
DSNY is the first Mack customer to evaluate DME, a non-toxic, clean-burning alternative fuel.
DME offers many benefits to fleet owners, including that it can be made from multiple sustainable feedstocks, such as food waste, animal waste, grass clippings and natural gas. It offers the same performance and energy efficiency as diesel and does not require cryogenic temperatures or high tank pressures, Mack Trucks says.
The DSNY evaluation will take place at the Freshkills Landfill, located on Staten Island, New York, and will last several weeks. Results are expected to be available mid-2017.
New York City has pledged to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent by 2050 compared with 2005. To achieve this goal, the city must reduce 43 million metric tons of GHG emissions. When produced from organic waste, DME can reduce GHG emissions.