PLANT

First electric commercial vehicle makes North American debut


April 22, 2010
by PLANT staff

Burlington, Ont: Burlington Hydro Inc. (BHI) is the first to own an all-electric light-duty SUV by Vancouver-based Rapid Electric Vehicles Inc. (REV).

Recently introduced for use in North American commercial fleets, REV’s advanced modular electric drive system is used to electrify most popular short-haul fleet chassis found in Ford Escapes and F-150s, transforming them into advanced, highway-capable electric vehicles.

BHI’s new REV 300 ACX is a retrofit Ford Escape producing zero tailpipe emissions and has smart grid and wireless telemetry capabilities. The ACX features a 160-kilometre range, a 144-kph top speed, with no compromise to performance or safety.

"The REV 300 ACX is not a hybrid nor is it a concept vehicle—It’s a fully electric vehicle that will be in daily use in the Burlington Hydro and GridSmartCity fleet," said Jay Giraud, REV’s CEO and president.

"This is a first for Canada, made possible by Burlington Hydro’s leadership and REV’s vehicle architecture designed by our electric vehicle veterans who have more than 30 years experience developing proprietary drive systems and electric energy storage technologies."

The SUV is the focal point of BHI’s Pure Electric Vehicle Demonstration Project, also the first of its kind.

With funding from Transport Canada, the University of Waterloo will conduct a one-year study to better understand the operating characteristics of an all-electric fleet vehicle in working applications.

The university will monitor the vehicle’s recharging patterns and requirements; how to optimize the usage and recharging cycle in a real life setting; the overall vehicle performance; drive-cycle; battery health and electricity grid impacts.

These fleets would typically operate from a central point and deploy vehicles with predictable usage patterns making them ideal for a centralized re-charging infrastructure. REV and Burlington Hydro believe such fleets could potentially represent the best opportunity for initial widespread vehicle electrification.