Repower for ‘Quicker Payback’
Ohio’s Amp Electric Vehicles, which promotes conversion of passenger cars and SUVs to pure battery electric operation keeping all of the features and amenities of the OEM product, is getting a chance to do the same in commercial trucks.
FedEx Express is to deploy a pair of 700-cubic-foot, 14,000-lb GVW Amp-converted MT-45 walk-in vans in Washington, D.C. as part of its expansion from just 43 battery vehicles to 130 this year.
“We’re in a re-power test with them,” says AMP EVs president Steve Burns.
“When you re-power,” he told F&F, “the payback is a lot quicker.”
The key is to do it economically.
Amp will use multiple HVH250 motors from Remy International, Burns says, to make sure that vehicle acceleration is as good or better than the diesel original. Electricity will be stored in Amp-designed battery packs, with Amp battery management system, using lithium iron phosphate cells from a supplier in Asia.
Proprietary Battery Packs
“We do our own packaging and our own controls,” Burns says. “We do our own software.”
In Washington, FedEx Express will compare the Amp-converted FCCC trucks with vehicles including pure-battery factory FCCC eCell trucks with drivelines by Enova Systems.
In other locations FedEx will evaluate purpose-built all-electric trucks from Boulder Electric Vehicle, from the better known Smith Electric Vehicles, and from Navistar — which despite its long history as a manufacturer is very new to battery trucks.
FedEx has vowed to slash fuel use and hence greenhouse gas pollution. “From the top down they’re on a mission,” Burns says.
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