Canada Post added to its fleet four all-electric step vans built by Navistar Inc. The eStar, a Class 2c-3 electric truck, has a range of 160 kilometres (100 miles) per charge and can be recharged fully within 6 to 8 hours.
“Part of our environmental commitment is to evaluate and proceed with alternate fuel technologies that will offer us a return on investment,” says Deepak Chopra, Canada Post president and chief executive officer. “Our trucks are in every neighbourhood in the country everyday, and we take pride in our efforts to deliver to our customers in an environmentally responsible way.”
With zero tailpipe emissions, each eStar truck can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by as much as 10 tons annually, according to Navistar. The windshield design provides nearly 180-degree visibility, the low-floor design allows easy loading/unloading and the noise level is nearly nonexistent.
Navistar says the eStar has been purpose-built for electric power, providing a low centre of gravity (the battery is between the frame rails, not mounted on top) and a 36-foot turning radius. The eStar is engineered with aerodynamic efficiency, a walk-though cab and a quick-change cassette-type battery that can be swapped out in 20 minutes, enabling around-the-clock operation. It is capable of carrying payloads up to two tons.
“For businesses, municipalities and other organizations that demonstrate their environmental commitment, the eStar is a smart option,” says Mark Aubry, vice president sales and marketing of electric vehicles for Navistar. “The eStar is enabling responsible customers who strive to have a positive impact on the environment through energy efficiency.”
Canada Post has the largest delivery fleet in Canada – more than 7,300 vehicles traveling more than 79 million kilometres a year. The company has made investments in researching and testing alternative technologies, including ethanol, biodiesel, natural gas, propane, hydrogen, hybrids and all-electric vehicles to reduce the environmental impact of its fleet.
The eStar is sold at the Western International dealership in Toronto and in partnership with Kemptville International in Ottawa.