Azure Dynamics Corporation (TSX: AZD)(OTC:AZDDF) has received a 600-unit order from Purolator, the largest ever order of hybrid electric vehicle (HEV) technology for the company, with 200 units delivered each year for the next three years. The vehicles are integrated on a Ford E450 chassis with a Ford 5.4L gasoline engine.
The hybrid electric drive train features unique attributes such as engine-off at idle and below 20 miles per hour, while electronically supporting key ancillary functions like power steering and braking, is ideally suited for commercial activity in urban environments.
"Purolator continues to be our largest volume customer and consistently demonstrates a strong commitment to the environment by adding cleaner, greener Azure vehicles to its fleet," said Scott Harrison, Chief Executive Officer of Azure. "As a result of our long and mutually beneficial relationship with Purolator, our BalanceM Hybrid Electric volume has consistently increased allowing us to reduce internal costs, refine our processes and implement product upgrades. Meanwhile, Purolator's proactive fleet managers have been able to substantially reduce tailpipe emissions, operating costs and improve overall efficiency of their fleet. This relationship is a manifestation of what will ultimately drive hybrid electric and electric powertrain market share increases."
The initial allotment of 200 units will be built and delivered primarily in the third and fourth quarters of 2011 and will be delivered to Purolator facilities across Canada. All units will include the BalanceM Hybrid Electric second generation architecture characterized by the Johnson Controls-Saft lithium ion battery plus many other upgrades designed to improve efficiency, reliability and durability. As a result, the Balance Hybrid Electric can improve fuel economy by up to 40%, while reducing carbon emissions by up to 30% in city conditions. The drive train also offers a significant reduction in maintenance costs versus conventionally equipped competitors.
In 2005, Purolator was the first express transportation company in Canada to introduce hybrid electric vehicles. Among the many Purolator locations receiving new hybrid electric vehicles, 43 have been added to the Halifax and Dartmouth fleet, making Purolator's City of Halifax fleet 100 per cent hybrid electric. An additional 60 Balance Hybrid Electric vans have been added in Guelph, while 19 have been added in Niagara, and finally, 79 in the Greater Toronto Area.