North American Repower and Efficient Drivetrains, Inc, are set to convert 6 Class-5 medium-duty armored vehicles (each weighing ~26,000 pounds, or 11,793 kilograms) into plug-in hybrid vehicles running on electricity and renewable natural gas. Technically, such vehicles are called “Zero Emission with Range Extension Vehicles” — so I hear.
The 6 trucks to be converted to ZEREVs are currently operated by Sectran Security. “Today, the Sectran Security trucks make frequent stops as part of their highly congested urban routes. At each stop, the engines are kept idling for security purposes, but now risk violating California’s strict diesel idling regulations, which prohibit idling the engine for more than five minutes,” the partner companies write. “With the modernized trucks, Sectran can completely eliminate engine idling by operating in all-electric mode during stop-and-go operations on urban routes and in hybrid-mode during highway operations. When complete, the vehicles possess impressive performance statistics—the demonstration trucks will enable Sectran to reduce annual diesel consumption by 31,000+ gallons, significantly reduce annual fuel costs, and reduce emissions by 99.9 percent.”
“We’re excited to be partnering with EDI on this breakthrough innovation,” said John Reed, CEO of North American Repower. “We believe integrating our renewable natural gas system with EDI’s PHEV technology will enable fleet managers to quickly move from petroleum-based fuels to domestically available, cleaner-burning natural gas and electricity. We’re particularly excited to be demonstrating this technology in a vehicle that by its very nature requires exceptional reliability in a high security environment.”
If you didn’t catch that, North American Repower is the company produces and installs the renewable natural gas engines. Efficient Drivetrains, meanwhile, “develops and markets a range of state-of-the-art proprietary drivetrain products and technologies that have direct application in PHEVs, HEVs, and BEVs worldwide.” It seems like a wonderful partnership, and I hope we see a lot more along these lines down the road. I just wonder how big the renewable natural gas market is. We wouldn’t want these vehicles to start running on non-renewable natural gas.
“The integration of NAR’s natural gas conversion technology with EDI’s high-efficiency PHEV solutions is extremely valuable to the marketplace as it extends options available to commercial fleet operators as they look to green their fleets and comply with California’s emissions reduction requirements,” said Joerg Ferchau, CEO of EDI. “Our partnership enables organizations to focus on their immediate need to comply with regulations, while also benefitting from reduced fuel costs and full vehicle performance.”
For other stories highlighting the work of Efficient Drivetrains, see: