Advanced VTech Installs Hydraulic Hybrid Drive in Grocer Vans
Colorado’s Lightning Hybrids has supplied its hydraulic hybrid Energy Recovery System equipment for two gasoline-fueled Workhorse-chassis vans now making deliveries in the Chicago area for the online grocer Peapod.
The ERS gear was installed in the two used vehicles by Advanced VTech in Buffalo Grove, Ill.
The conversions were partially paid for under the Drive Clean Chicago voucher program. The trucks are the first hydraulic hybrids in Peapod’s fleet of approximately 130 vehicles in the Midwest, Lightning says. They are expected to significantly reduce fuel consumption, reduce brake maintenance costs and cut emissions.
“Peapod, by design, is a green company,” Peapod Midwest transportation fleet administrator Claudia Fikert, says in Lightning’s announcement.
‘A Better Neighbor’
“Every Peapod truck on the road eliminates the need for an average of 20 passenger vehicles to drive to the grocery store,” she said. “The addition of these hydraulic hybrid trucks to the Peapod fleet further increases the benefit and reduces our carbon footprint.
“The Drive Clean Chicago voucher program made it easy for us to add the Lightning Hybrids system to our mix of effective ways to reduce emissions, as well as increase fuel efficiency and make Peapod a better neighbor.”
Quick ROI Behind ‘Outstanding Fuel and Brake Savings’
“The ERS system that we installed offers a quick return on investment due to outstanding fuel and brake savings,” Advanced VTech finance VP Ron Sheble says in the Lightning release.
“We retrofitted the hydraulic hybrid system to standard Peapod delivery vehicles with minimum downtime,” he said. “We expect emissions to be reduced by 50%, and the vehicles now have more power for acceleration and smoother braking.”
Off the Fence with ‘a 28% Increase in Fuel Economy’
“They’re getting a 28% increase in fuel economy,” Sheble told F&F, citing the first month’s experience. “This is a huge win,” he said, noting that the vehicles had already logged approximately 180,000 mile with their OEM drivelines.
Pea pod’s Fikert told F&F that the 2008 Workhorse trucks were fitted with new 4.8-liter GM engines, and new transmissions, prior to the decision to install the Lightning Hybrids drives.
“Our ERS is perfect for Peapod’s urban and suburban routes and will lower their fuel costs,” said Lightning sales VP David Brosky. “The Drive Clean Chicago voucher program provides a strong incentive for fleets that may be on the fence about trying a different technology.”
Peapod, says Lightning, is the country’s leading Internet grocer, serving 24 U.S. markets throughout Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia, Washington, D.C. and Wisconsin. The firm, founded in 1989, has delivered more than 35 million grocery orders.
The Lightning Hybrids ERS on a Peapod vehicle was unveiled at the Lake Michigan Clean Cities Consortium’s Green Drives Conference and Expo last month in Naperville, Ill.
Contact information is only available to premium subscribers. Click here to purchase a subscription.
Source: Lightning Hybrids with Fleets & Fuels follow-up