Heavy Duty Trucking

OCT 2014

The Fleet Business Authority

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30 HDT • OCTOBER 2014 www.truckinginfo.com FuelSmarts is 60 mph. It comes in two models with 2,500- and 3,000-pound pay- load capacity, and two roof heights. A Zenith 350's list price is $89,500. "There's lots of interest, and we will have really exciting news in a couple of months," Smith says. A different approach was taken by Electric Vehicles International, in northern California. It used engine- less glider kits from Freightliner Custom Chassis Corp. to assemble 100 walk-in vans with Morgan Olson bodies for UPS, and Freightliner M2 gliders to build 15 cab-chassis trucks for Frito-Lay, explains Brett Gipe, vice president, sales and marketing. Those two fleets are EVI's "core partners," but it has other projects in the works. "There are all kinds of grants, programs and demonstration projects out there to prove that they work," Gipe says. "We need to go to a single federal program that would work everywhere in the country for ev- eryone, instead of the state and local programs, the DOE and EPA grants that work through applications that require corporate resources to deal with." That would drive volume and help bring down costs for medium- and small-size fleets, as well as the big ones. But that would take action by Congress, which let incentives for various alternative-fuel cars and trucks expire at the end of 2013. of real movement." Back in southern California, TransPower is assembling Class 8 drayage tractors by buying and con- verting International ProStar daycab models to electric power. One is in field testing at the Port of Los Ange- les. The company is building seven more under a government grant, and is seeking operators to test and hope- fully acquire them, says Mike Simon, president and CEO. TransPower bought complete ProStars from Navistar, and workers removed their diesel powertrains and sold them. Engineers then designed in the company's ElecTruk drive system, consisting of a motor from JJE of China, an Eaton UltraShift 10-speed automated transmission, and a specialized controller. Zenith Motors in northern Ken- tucky also converts existing chassis, in this case Ram ProMaster vans, to electric power. It has been doing one a week, and "we can make money at that rate," says Christine Smith, vice president of sales and marketing. Most have been passenger shuttles, but a pair of cargo vans went to Al- ameda County, Calif., which bought them for building maintenance. The Zenith electric van uses a Borg-Warner electric drivetrain, in- cluding a 180-horsepower motor and a 62.5-kilowatt-hour bank of lithium- ion phosphate batteries. Its operating range is 70 to 85 miles and top speed Compendium of sustainable praCtiCes T he American Transpor tation Research Institute added a compendium of sustainable freight practices on its website, www.atri-online.org. The com- pendium identifies sustainable practices used by the trucking industry, including driver train- ing, idle reduction, speed man- agement, vehicle aerodynamics, tires and engine systems, and provides research findings on the costs and benefits of these practices. natural gas weight allowanCe in illinois E f fective January 1, 2015, Il- linois will of fer a 2,0 0 0 -pound weight allowance for trucks pow- ered par tly or wholly by natural gas. Because of federal statute, the new law does not apply on the Interstate System, but all oth- er Illinois roads are covered by it. Indiana and Ohio have enacted similar allowances. idleair reports growth T ruckstop electrification services provider IdleAir continues to grow its number of locations since reopening under a new owner about four years ago. It currently operates more than 30 travel center locations in 15 states. It expects to begin full operations of four Pilot Flying J installations this quarter and by early 2015 ex- pects to launch eight more travel center locations. IdleAir also has increased its dedicated fleet ter- minal installations to five facilities since the launch of that service in late 2013. FUEL in the News This electric trash collection truck is at work in Chicago, whose sanita- tion department is evaluating its performance and reliability. Motiv Power Systems oversaw installa- tion of its components in a Crane Carrier Corp. glider kit at the area's CCC dealer, which also installed a Loadmaster packer body. A Chicago spokesperson said the truck runs, cleanly and quietly, every working day on a variety of trash and recyclables routes, and will continue through the winter until a year-long program concludes in March. Motiv says this one cost about $1 million, most of that financed with a government grant, but if Chicago buys more, the per-truck price will edge down to $500,000. Electric trash truck

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