USPS to Test Balance Hybrid Vehicles

The operator of the largest civilian fleet in the world, the United States Postal Service (USPS), announced today it has signed an agreement with Azure Dynamics Corporation for the setup of a pilot testing program for Azure's Balance Hybrid vehicle.

"The Postal Service is taking the lead in reducing the environmental footprint that results from visiting every home and business in America every day," Sam Pulcrano, USPS vice president said when announcing the new partnership."This new vehicle will join 30 other Azure Dynamics pure electric step vans currently delivering mail in Manhattan and the Bronx, as part of a test of alternative fuel technology."

The Balance hybrid, a two-ton step van, will be operated Long Island, New York for twelve months, the span of the pilot program agreed by the two sides. The van is in fact a Ford E-450 chassis with a Morgan Olson body, fitted with an Azure Dynamics hybrid electric drive train.

The hybrid system comprises of a conventional 5.4l Triton gasoline engine, paired with a 5-speed automatic TorqShift transmission, an electric-launch assist, engine-off at idle and regenerative braking.

Azure technology is proven to offer significant cost and environmental efficiencies for the commercial delivery truck market. Continuing our work with the agency that delivers nearly half of all the world's mail remains an important opportunity for Azure," Curt Huston, Azure Dynamics CEO added.

Azure's hybrid technology allows, according to the company's figures, for an improvement in fuel consumption of some 40 percent. Additionally, the fleet operating the vans can save up to 30 percent for maintenance costs and reduce CO2 emissions by 30 percent.

"We know our product will help the USPS fleet to achieve its aggressive sustainability goals while also providing the dependability that has been a hallmark of USPS for more than 200 years," concluded Huston.
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About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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