Freightliner Custom Chassis Corp. (FCCC) and Enova Systems Inc., a leading developer of proprietary hybrid-electric and all-electric drive systems and drive system components for the emerging green commercial vehicle market, today (Nov. 16) launched a program to make electric vehicles more accessible to commercial fleets.
The Green for Free program allows fleet executives to purchase all-electric vehicles for the cost of a diesel-powered commercial vehicle. The savings fleets incur from the reduced maintenance and fuel savings of the electric vehicles (EVs) is then used over a period of time to cover the incremental expense for the technology.
The “Green for Free” program will utilize the FCCC All-Electric Walk-in Van (WIV) chassis powered by the Enova drive system. Fleets with set routes in pickup and delivery applications are ideal for the Green for Free program because they have predictable drive routes and return each night to the company depot. FCCC is already well-established in the market and can provide immediate volume, which is required to reduce high-cost components, such as batteries. Additionally, the project looks to focus on disciplined duty cycles, utilizing 80% of the battery daily, versus design for extended range.
“FCCC and Enova recognize that the ‘Green For Free’ program is necessary in order to make all-electric vehicles more affordable, and therefore more accessible, to fleets,” said Bob Harbin, FCCC president. “We want to help those fleets interested in reducing their energy consumption and environmental impact by enabling them to purchase more alternative-fuel vehicles at one time because of the reduced upfront costs.”
Enova and FCCC developed an integration method for both new and retrofit applications. FCCC’s all-electric chassis is built upon the FCCC MT-45 chassis — known for its durability and GVWR of 14,000 to 19,500 lbs. — which is capable of handling heavy payloads. FCCC maintains a dominant market share in the WIV chassis market, which it expects to continue to expand.
FCCC and Enova plan to deploy a total of 3,000 alternative-fuel vehicles within a two-year time frame beginning no later than the third quarter 2012 as a result of the ‘Green for Free’ program.