Now these are no golf carts! A fleet of six 26,000-pound, Class 5 armored vehicles will be converted to renewable natural gas PHEVs in an effort to comply with California air pollution standards.
Efficient Drivetrains, Inc (EDI), a company that builds electrified drivetrains for some of the biggest vehicles on the road (and that was profiled in the March/April 2015 issue of Charged) has teamed up with North American Repower, a California firm specializing in natural gas conversions, to manufacture these first-of-their-kind vehicles.
The armored trucks, which are operated by Sectran Security, make frequent stops as part of their urban routes. At each stop, the engines are kept idling for security reasons, falling foul of California’s strict diesel idling regulations, which prohibit idling for more than five minutes. With the upgraded trucks, Sectran will completely eliminate engine idling by operating in all-electric mode during stop-and-go operations.
The demonstration trucks will enable Sectran to reduce annual diesel consumption by over 31,000 gallons, significantly lowering annual fuel costs, and slashing emissions by 99.9 percent.
“We believe integrating our renewable natural gas system with EDI’s PHEV technology will enable fleet managers to quickly move from petroleum-based fuels to domestically available, cleaner-burning natural gas and electricity,” said John Reed, CEO of North American Repower. “We’re excited to be demonstrating this technology in a vehicle that by its very nature requires exceptional reliability in a high-security environment.”