LIVONIA—Guelph, Ontario-based Linamar Corp., announced that it has entered the evaluation phase for its fuel cell electric delivery vans under a technology contract with the Center for Transportation and the Environment, partnering with Livonia-based Roush CleanTech and Burnaby, British Columbia-based Ballard Power Systems Inc. to provide delivery vans to UPS for a service demonstration in California.
The project for the California Air Resources Board includes developing, validating and deploying four fuel cell hybrid electric delivery vans. This is part of California Climate Investments, a statewide initiative that puts billions of cap-and-trade dollars to work to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, strengthen the economy, and improve public health and the environment, particularly in disadvantaged communities.
“The strength of CTE’s project lies in its team member experience with advanced vehicle manufacturing, utilization of proven, off-the-shelf components, participation of UPS as the fleet operator and deployment partner, and the propulsion system’s commercialization potential,” said Dan Raudebaugh, executive director of CTE, a non-profit, Atlanta-based organization that develops, promotes and implements advanced transportation technologies.
Over the past decade, Linamar has made a substantial investment in automotive and commercial vehicle eAxle design, development and testing at its Livonia-based McLaren Engineering operations, as well as its McLaren Engineering centers in Germany and China.
This second generation eAxle for Class 4-6 commercial vehicles is a key result of this investment, building upon the success of their earlier DOE program for a Class 6 HEV delivery vehicle. Its single-speed, single-motor design delivers 200kW and 8,400 foot-pounds of torque to the rear axle for excellent startability and gradeability under rigorous real-world delivery conditions.
Roush is supplying the overall vehicle and system design, integration, build and commissioning for the fuel cell electric vehicles. FCEVs are electric vehicles that use a fuel cell to power its onboard electric motor, generating electricity from the air and compressed hydrogen.
“Roush’s expertise in clean mobility solutions is supported by decades of engineering, vehicle controls and integration experience with many of the major OEMs,” said Roush CleanTech president Todd Mouw. “Combine that with the fact that we have deployed more than 37,000 Ford medium-duty trucks and Blue Bird school buses featuring advanced technologies, such as propane autogas, and it provides fleets a comfort level in transitioning away from traditional fuels like diesel. Our customers have accumulated well over 1 billion road miles, so we understand how to engineer, sell, service and support our customers through the complete asset lifecycle.”
Ballard, meanwhile, supplies the fuel cell power technology, designed to integrate with the eAxle and battery systems in the Ford F-59 chassis to create the hydrogen-powered FCEV with a 150-mile range based on targeted driving cycles.
“Ballard’s industry-leading experience in the manufacture of fuel cell systems for Medium- and Heavy-Duty Motive applications includes powering Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles for more than 75 million kilometers to date,” said Ballard president and CEO Randy MacEwen. “Our high-performance fuel cell systems are designed to meet the demanding needs of commercial vehicles, including superior durability requirements for delivery vans. We are proud to be working with Linamar, Roush and CTE on this ground-breaking project for CARB.”
The four FCEV delivery vans will be delivered in April.
More about Linamar at www.linamar.com. Roush CleanTech is a division of the engineering company Roush Enterprises. It develops propane autogas and electric propulsion technology for medium-duty Ford commercial vehicles and school buses, and has more than 37,000 vehicles on the road. More at ROUSHcleantech.com. More about the fuel cell developer Ballard at www.ballard.com.