Tag: Technology

What’s in a Name?

Originally, the term “telematics” was coined to describe the combination of telecommunication and information management systems. In fleet operations, the idea was that onboard systems could communicate with fleet management solutions to provide valuable data on vehicles and operations that would enhance processes and streamline maintenance and repair activities. This activity could take place across cellular- and satellite-based mobile communication platforms, and using new wireless handheld devices.

Over time, telematics has also been used to refer to many automated vehicle systems. One of the earliest examples was General Motors’ OnStar, which was among the first systems to combine GPS location capabilities with roadside assistance and remote diagnostics. On a growing number of trucks, including those used by utility fleets, telematics solutions can combine data from electronically controlled components, such as engines and transmissions with onboard communication technology.

In preparing for this issue of Utility Fleet Professional, we began asking ourselves what exactly constitutes telematics in the realm of fleet management. Our searches of several industry databases, for example, turned up a long list of systems that are associated with the term. Those include accident management systems, alarms/warning systems, audiovisual equipment, backing safety systems, backup alarms, collision warning systems, onboard computers, electronic obstacle detection, electronic safety devices, engine monitoring and controls, GPS tracking, ignition interlocks, mobile data terminals, rearview camera systems, vehicle monitoring systems, video safety systems and video surveillance equipment.

While we make plans to cover this growing area of interest in future issues – with a focus on what fleet managers need to know – we’re hoping to gain some valuable insight at the Telematics for Fleet Management USA 2012 conference (www.telematicsupdate.com/fleet/) scheduled to be held in Atlanta in mid-November.

The focus of the conference is “Fleet Telematics Geared for Mass Market: Utilize Data, Heightened Applications and Connectivity to Deliver ROI for Fleet Operators.” Topics on this year’s agenda include:
• Create Transparent and Seamless Fleet Operations: Understand the types of benchmarking – such as performance and energy – relevant to fleet operations to give context to data and visibility to fleet managers for operational efficiency.
• Establish OEM’s Priorities from a Fleet Perspective: Understand which additional data is being sent to the engine bus, such as rpm, odometer, fuel usage in real time, and flow indication to monitor myriad data streams and offer a comprehensive telematics solutions portfolio.
• Software as a Service (SaaS) – Prosper Through Cutting-Edge Business Models: Assess how to adopt a competitive pricing model that takes into account initial setup, usage parameters and opportunities to charge per transaction of data to gain optimum ROI.
• Embracing the 4G Future: Consider the 4G spectrum to integrate new fleet-centric services, such as real-time maps and driver behavior monitoring that will encourage heightened safety and promote fuel efficiency.

The commercial telematics industry has reached a key tipping point, according to conference organizer Telematics Update, which bills itself as “the reference point for automotive telematics, mobile and web industries.” Look for UFP to follow up on this increasingly important topic in the future.

Seth Skydel


Software Solutions

Wiregrass Electric Cooperative Improves Safety and Efficiency with Telogis
Wiregrass Electric Cooperative provides electric services to 24,000 members across six counties in southeast Alabama. Technicians are responsible for keeping the electricity flowing across the region, each one assigned to cover a specific area or zone. Unfortunately, in order to keep track of where the technicians were during the course of the day, the dispatch team had to constantly communicate with them via two-way radio.

“I had to converse with them to see where they were starting at, and then check with them during the day to see where they were at and what progress they were making on completing their work,” said Wiregrass service manager Larry Galloway. “If there was an outage, I would have to call them and find out where they were to see who was closest.”

The company needed a real-time view of where their service trucks were located and began searching for a GPS-based fleet management solution. The company ultimately selected Telogis Fleet, a hosted solution, and installed Telogis GPS units on 16 vehicles, including its six small bucket trucks, large construction bucket trucks and the trucks used by the company’s four construction crew leaders.

With a real-time view of each technician’s location, Galloway has been able to greatly improve dispatching efficiency. “If we have an outage, I can immediately look and see who is the closest to the problem, and dispatch them accordingly,” he said.

Wiregrass has improved equipment utilization and reduced the amount of time it takes to locate a technician to respond to an outage. “I can look instantly and see where all the trucks are located,” Galloway said. “If there’s an outage in one zone, and I can see that a technician who doesn’t usually work there is closer to the problem, I can dispatch him and have him on site much faster. In those cases, I can get the technicians there twice as fast.”

According to Galloway, Wiregrass is currently considering installing additional GPS units on other vehicles and equipment. Eventually the company would like to more closely monitor vehicle performance indicators such as idle times and braking.

“The Telogis system has really helped improve our dispatching and our response times, and our technicians are confident that we can reach them quickly in an emergency,” Galloway said. “We hope to improve operations even further as we leverage more of the Telogis functionality on additional equipment.”

Telogis Fleet 9, the company’s next generation of fleet management software, is designed to give fleet managers greater flexibility in configuring reports to fit their exact needs. The software-as-a-service fleet management system integrates with Telogis Route, Telogis Progression and Telogis Mobile in a single strategic and dynamic routing, real-time work order management, telematics and mobile platform.

Telogis Fleet 9 features new configurable reporting functions and settings, including:
• Ad Hoc Reporting, which allows users to define data elements they want to see, organize them in a way that is the most logical for their operations, and create and run reports in real time;
• Terminology Module, which lets users rename key terms to match internal nomenclature;
• InSight Alerting Engine, which allows users to create unique alerts based on almost every piece of data that the system collects; and
• Layers, which enables organizations to quickly and easily integrate unique GIS layer data to locate relevant locations in their company infrastructure that do not appear on standard maps, such as power poles, oil wells, gas and water lines, land use grids, and forestry and parcel information.

Telogis Fleet 9 also incorporates new features of Telogis Asset, including asset-specific alerts and reporting functions that provide greater visibility as to how each asset is being used in the field. Users have the ability to view all assets in a single view, customize data by asset type and integrate that information into larger fleet-wide reports, an important feature in large, mixed fleets. Loss prevention and utilization monitoring tools also protect assets from theft and misuse. Visit www.telogis.com for more.

New Jersey American Water Uses Trimble Fleet Management to Lower Fuel Costs and Optimize Scheduling
New Jersey American Water, a subsidiary of American Water Works & Guarantee Company, provides water and wastewater service to 600,000 customers in six counties using a fleet of 600 vehicles.

“Our drivers read meters, change meters and fix main breaks,” said Jeff Bowlby, operations supervisor for New Jersey American Water. “To better serve this many customers and still maintain a high level of service, New Jersey American Water needed a fleet management solution to improve scheduling and raise worker productivity.”

The company chose Trimble GeoManager Fleet Management, a GPS cloud-computing platform that allows it to track vehicles in real time, confirm a vehicle is at its scheduled location on time, and view and print detailed reports about daily activities. “GeoManager has definitely been a helpful tool,” Bowlby added. “We can give customers a window and the driver will call half an hour before getting there so the customer is always updated on their service status.”

GeoManager Fleet Management offers visibility into day-to-day operations to identify, manage and improve key areas of the business so New Jersey American Water has better control of driver safety, customer service, back office administration, fuel consumption and field service vehicle efficiency. Another issue was excessive idling. “We were spending $2.6 million on fuel each year,” Bowlby said. “Now GeoManager sends an alert if a vehicle exceeds 15 minutes of idling. We’ve cut our fuel expenses almost in half.”

An added benefit of GeoManager is its vehicle diagnostics solution, which schedules vehicle maintenance and reduces the chance of mechanical failure. “Our drivers are very busy servicing customers and they don’t have time to track maintenance issues,” Bowlby said. “Sometimes they don’t even notice that the check engine light is on. Now we get a code when the light is on and we know right away whether the truck needs servicing.”

Trimble Field Service Management suite includes fleet management, work management and scheduling, worker safety and mobility solutions. The cloud-based portfolio offers industry-specific, enterprise-level solutions. Visit www.trimble.com/fsm for more.

DC Water Gains Real-Time Visibility Over Fleet Costs with Chevin Fleet Solutions
The District of Columbia Water and Sewer Authority provides wastewater treatment and quality drinking water to multiple counties in Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia. DC Water supports these offerings with a fleet of more than 2,000 pieces of equipment.

Utilizing FleetWave from Chevin Fleet Solutions, DC Water can link each of its facilities together, allowing the utility to share resources, reduce on-hand parts inventories, and significantly improve maintenance practices and compliance with inspections and certifications required for its diverse fleet.

With integration to the utility’s enterprise financial system as well as external maintenance providers and fuel management system, FleetWave can streamline labor- and paper-intensive processes. Additionally, with FleetWave’s support of auto-generated email notifications of pending, due, and past due PMs and safety inspections, DC Water has enhanced its management and oversight of statutory and safety-related tasks.

With extensive fleet management requirements from complete asset and life cycle management, workshop, inventory, purchasing, warranty and campaign management, and driver management as well as accident and risk management, DC Water’s fleet management team is able to use FleetWave to manage its fleet using a simple deployment over DC Water’s intranet.

“With FleetWave, DC Water’s extremely diverse requirements will be accommodated,” said Ron Katz, senior vice president of North American sales for Chevin. “In addition, with FleetWave’s flexible capabilities, DC Water’s future needs can be easily met without the need for expensive and time-consuming programming.”

Chevin Fleet Solutions is a provider of enterprise fleet management software with two primary products. FleetWave is a Web-based fleet management information system and RoadBASE is a PC-based fleet management system. Visit www.chevinfleet.com/us/fleet-management-software/ for more.

East Bay Municipal Utility District Uses AssetWorks FleetFocus to Manage Resources and Increase Customer Satisfaction
The East Bay Municipal Utility District supplies water and provides wastewater treatment for Alameda and Contra Costa counties along the eastern side of San Francisco Bay. The utility has approximately 1,215 vehicles and uses the AssetWorks FleetFocus Enterprise Asset Management solution to manage its fleet operations.

“To run a fleet well, you need good information for constant evaluation,” stated Bob Sonnenfelt, EBMUD equipment supervisor, fleet management. “FleetFocus allows us to know about problems long before they impact business, which helps us be a better service provider within our organization.”

EBMUD fleet management processes 6,000 work orders a year, averaging 12 to15 vehicles a day. Some of the ways in which the utility uses FleetFocus include developing a systematic replacement analysis function that includes a hands-on evaluation of the unit as well as a cost-benefit analysis and history review. By accessing accurate maintenance and repair data in the work order center of FleetFocus, EBMUD can better determine the reasons for maintenance and repair. Over time, this practice saves labor time and costs, and has extended the PM cycle on most vehicles.

EBMUD is also able to set parts operations parameters that match specific terms with FleetFocus. This practice helps the fleet management department accurately provide needed items while carefully managing inventory costs. Additionally, EBMUD uses FleetFocus to capture all shop labor in real time. Technicians log on and off tasks in the application via shop floor computers. By tracking direct and indirect time in real time, the utility can accurately assess productivity as it relates to mechanics, vehicles and tasks, establishing standards and goals for productivity.

FleetFocus also integrates with EBMUD’s other systems, including its automated fuel system, which provides both fuel consumption and updated odometer readings. The system integration includes the Networkfleet AVL/GPS wireless vehicle management system, which provides another point of data capture for odometer readings as well as vehicle diagnostic information, alerting maintenance when a vehicle engine reports a fault code.

FleetFocus is seen as vital to EBMUD’s efforts to effectively and efficiently run its fleet operations while offering impeccable service to its internal and external customers. “AssetWorks built FleetFocus to include functionality that is the best in the market,” said Sonnenfelt. “We’ve been able to extend PM cycles, extend replacement cycles, minimize our parts inventory, and identify and manage where our labor is going. All this results in productivity gains and makes our operation stronger.”

AssetWorks FleetFocus tracks all functions related to the maintenance of vehicles and equipment, including processing repair and preventive maintenance work orders, capturing operating expenses, and billing and tracking for vehicle usage. FleetFocus also integrates with an automated fuel management system, FuelFocus, in real time. Other integrations available with FleetFocus include the AssetWorks Vehicle Data Collector for capturing engine data and error codes and transmitting them directly into the FleetFocus database; Networkfleet wireless in-vehicle technology that merges remote diagnostic systems with GPS-based automatic vehicle location technology; NAPA’s parts inventory management system; Lincoln’s fluid inventory control system; and the Zonar Electronic Vehicle Inspection Report system. Visit www.assetworks.com for more.

Orangeville Hydro Manages Projects and Tracks Costs with WennSoft
Orangeville Hydro Limited, based in Orangeville, Ontario, 46 miles from Toronto, supplies power to more than 10,000 customers from five substations. To assist in providing quality service, Orangeville Hydro has utilized WennSoft Job Cost since April 2006.

“Prior to using WennSoft, we did not have a work order system,” recalled Jan Howard, Orangeville Hydro’s manager of finance and rates. “We tracked everything through general ledger, including budgeted and minor capital jobs. However, we lacked the ability to report on costs and had no ability to determine current value of an asset when replacement was required.”

With WennSoft, Howard is able to track costs to see if Orangeville Hydro is coming close to budgeted amounts. Work orders for chargeable work are tracked in the work order system and directly invoiced. The utility’s operations department also tracks maintenance.

WennSoft helps provide accurate information and a history about jobs or projects to refer to at a later time. “In the past we couldn’t go back and see the initial cost of a project,” Howard said. “With Job Cost, we have access to historical project costs. That allows us to compare historical information to similar projects under consideration. We build a history, call up the last project, examine historical costs and go from there.”

WennSoft Evolution is a complete solution for work order management, asset management, installation, field service and maintenance designed for equipment in energy, construction, communication and other industries. Built on the Microsoft xRM framework, Evolution delivers asset management, maintenance agreements, simple and segmented work orders, field service, advanced dispatching and scheduling, mobile solutions for field technicians, quotes, purchasing and invoicing.

Evolution can operate as a stand-alone solution or be integrated with Microsoft Dynamics ERP and other business application software and services. The software can be implemented in phases or across an entire organization, and can be deployed on premises or in the cloud. In addition, technicians in the field can use multiple devices across operating systems to access FieldTech, a mobile solution that has both online as well as store and forward capabilities. Visit www.wennsoft.com for more.

Utility Equipment Leasing Corporation Adds to Rental Fleet
To meet electrical transmission and distribution customer demand, Utility Equipment Leasing Corporation has added more than 60 new trucks to its fleet in 2012. This is the third consecutive year the company is investing in trucks for U.S. utilities. The most recent expansion included RMX 75- to 100-foot buckets, Commander 6000 diggers and Generals for transmission customers. The company also added 45- to 60-foot digger derricks, 29- to 40-foot bucket trucks, and other digger derricks and cable placers for the distribution market. Visit www.uelc.com for more.

Ditch Witch Offers Financing and Leasing Options
Through Ditch Witch Financial Services, customers now have a variety of financing and leasing options available, including zero percent financing, 90-day and 6-month delayed payment plans, skip-payment plans, lease options and other programs tailored to customer needs. Visit www.ditchwitch.com for more.


Progress Report

Successfully implementing new technology into fleet operations is a major challenge for managers. In the past few years, perhaps no greater challenge has been faced than the adoption of 2010 emissions-compliant diesel engines. During the 2011 Electric Utility Fleet Managers Conference (www.eufmc.com), two fleets detailed their programs and the performance of these engines in their operations.

Since the most recent diesel engine emissions standards took effect at the beginning of 2010, trucks equipped with selective catalytic reduction (SCR) engines have been fitted with diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) tanks. DEF is a necessary component of emissions compliance using SCR technology.

Georgia Power Company
A subsidiary of Southern Company, Georgia Power Company (GPC) is an investor-owned utility serving 2.3 million customers in the state of Georgia. Its fleet includes 4,500 units, half of which are vehicles. Steven Hopkins, manager, fleet technical services, oversees engineering, maintenance, testing, procurement and financial issues for the fleet, and serves as the team leader for Southern Company’s fleet engineering team.

“By 2011,” Hopkins said, “about 10 percent of our total diesel fleet of 1,128 units had 2010 and newer engines. That included 96 Cummins-powered Freightliners and 17 Fords. By 2015 we project that half of the diesel fleet, or about 573 vehicles, will have engines that require DEF.”

Diesel-powered trucks at GPC typically travel 12,000 miles and run on-site for 1,200 hours per year. Average per day idle time for these vehicles is six hours.

To meet its DEF needs, Hopkins reported, GPC awarded a contract to Brenntag North America, the manufacturer and distributor of TerraCair Ultrapure DEF. Brenntag, an OEM supplier for GM, Ford, Chrysler, Freightliner, VW and BMW, offers its product in 2.5-gallon containers, 55-gallon drums and 330-gallon bulk totes.

“For the next couple of years we’re providing DEF in 2.5-gallon containers at our fleet service centers,” Hopkins related. “We will also be installing heated cabinets at fuel islands in higher usage locations to make it more easily available. DEF tanks are usually filled every three or four weeks, or after approximately 1,000 miles and 100 hours of idling.

”As usage increases we plan to upgrade to 55-gallon drums or 330-gallon totes,” Hopkins continued. “Replenish intervals will be a moving target as more emissions-compliant units are added to the fleet and are something our fleet parts department will be monitoring.”

DEF handling concerns at GPC follow Southern Company safety and health rules. Dispensing always takes place in well-ventilated areas. All employees are already required to wear safety glasses in the work environment, which includes the fuel island, and when adding DEF, the use of impervious gloves such as nitrile, Viton or butyl for DEF handling is recommended. Hopkins also pointed out that the 2.5-gallon DEF containers are equipped with a tubular spout that inserts into the filler neck of the DEF tank to minimize the possibility of splashes and spills during the filling process.

“We have not had any maintenance issues with the 2010 engines and no drivability concerns have been reported,” Hopkins said. “The use of DEF has not presented any issues for our vehicle operators, except for adding the product as needed. It’s just another thing to be responsible for monitoring.”

AmeriGas Propane
A supplier of services to more than 1.3 million customers in nearly 50 states, AmeriGas Propane provides home and commercial deliveries of bulk fuel and cylinders. In the company’s fleet operation are more than 7,900 units, including 5,158 vehicles. By the end of 2012 there will be almost 700 AmeriGas units with newer emissions-compliant engines, including 190 vehicles purchased in 2010, 352 added in 2011 and 388 projected in 2012.

AmeriGas is moving ahead to transition its fleet, noted Jay Massey, corporate fleet manager, in part because the rules changed in California. “We needed to replace 32 trucks in California by the first of this year and will need to replace 138 trucks by 2013,” he said. “Our plan is to move 2007 and newer units into California throughout the year, in addition to sending new trucks.

“That needs to happen soon,” Massey added. “As the order cycle continues to get elongated with OEMs and with builders, it’s urgent we place orders as early in April as possible to meet a fall build schedule.”

For its 2010 and newer models, Massey related several upfit issues that had to be addressed. “We needed clear inside and outside frame rails, and had to determine DEF, air and fuel tank, along with air dryer and battery locations,” he said. “We standardized on a vertical exhaust, but some emissions component routing conflicted with air suspension placement, forcing us back into spring ride on some initial units. We also had a PTO access issue to resolve.”

Driver training was also on the fleet’s agenda. Included was helping drivers interpret system alerts and understand how to respond to protect the asset. On the fleet’s 2010 models, the DEF tank was positioned where batteries and air tanks were previously located, and each unit was equipped with a separate DEF fuel gauge.

“We anticipated about 2 percent DEF consumption, or about 1 gallon of DEF for every 50 gallons of fuel,” Massey reported. “Based on the number of units in the fleet, that lets us plan for inventory needs. Initially, we purchased DEF from truck dealers and some retail outlets. Now, virtually all major truck stops and some large fuel providers are carrying DEF. We also have to consider on-site storage based on the number of units at a domicile location consuming DEF and the ability to store it in a climate-controlled environment.”

Massey explained that different vehicles have different size onboard DEF tanks ranging in capacity by OEM and vehicle type. For example, straight chassis units had 6-, 9- or 13-gallon tanks and tractors are equipped with 23 gallons of DEF capacity. All DEF tanks in the fleet are heated plastic models.

“It’s too early to see if one manufacturer or another has a better truck from a maintenance standpoint,” Massey stated. “Routine maintenance on these vehicles has been primarily preventive and, compared to non-DEF units, has been cost and time neutral.”

Potentially offsetting the higher cost of the latest emissions-compliant engines – as much as $6,500 more for trucks and $9,500 more for tractors in 2010 – is the indication of a slightly better half-mile per gallon increase in fuel efficiency and less non-PM maintenance. Analyses have also revealed a cost per mile for 2010 and 2011 models about equal to or less than 2008 and 2009 trucks.

“Performance is still to be determined,” Massey said, “but we have noticed some improvement and we’re getting good indications about throttle response and fewer occurrences of system regenerations based on driver feedback and other reporting.”

DEF and Storage, Dispensing and Testing Technologies
Nontoxic but corrosive to aluminum and carbon steel, DEF must be stored onboard and on-site in tanks made of stainless steel or plastic. In addition, DEF is sensitive to both extreme cold and high ambient temperatures, requiring adequate climate-controlled systems. Available today are the following:

Old World Industries offers BlueDEF for use in on-highway engines in 1- and 2.5-gallon containers, 55-gallon drums, and 275- and 330-gallon totes. The company also provides a variety of dispensing systems and offers the BlueDEF Equipment Program, an installation, service and maintenance network, as well as a DEF Equipment Training Program for service and support technicians. Visit www.bluedef.com for more.

Terra Environmental Technologies (TET) produces DEF that is sold under the TerraCair brand name, including the newly introduced TerraCair Ultrapure DEF, in 1- and 2.5-gallon jugs, 55-gallon drums, 330-gallon totes, 5,000-gallon tankers and 20,000-gallon railcars. TET also offers dispensing equipment installation and training services to DEF users, including fleets with in-house systems. Visit www.tet-terra.com for more.

Colder Products Company is offering its DrumQuik PRO closed-dispensing solution for extracting DEF from drums, small containers and totes. The system is in use by DEF suppliers, including Airgas Specialty Products and Balcrank Corporation, who offer it as a stand-alone component or as part of a package in both fixed and portable pumping systems. Visit www.colder.com/Specialties/DrumQuik/DrumQuikHome.aspx for more.

Gilbarco Veeder-Root offers its Encore S DEF and Encore S DEF + 1 along with the new Atlas DEF dispenser. The products are fully compatible with the company’s Gasboy dispensers and other existing fuel management systems. The DEF dispensers are installed in a thermostat-controlled, heated cabinet that prevents DEF from freezing or crystallizing. Visit www.gilbarco.com for more.

Powerblanket wraparound DEF heaters are available for totes, pumps and dispensing units. Utilizing the company’s GreenHeat Technology, the heated enclosures can be used on metal and plastic containers. Standard models are available for 275- and 330-gallon tote sizes, and custom sizes are offered. The heaters can provide several hours of protection in the event of a power failure. Visit www.powerblanket.com for more.

Reichert Technologies DEF-Chek testers for measuring the correct concentration of DEF can be used to perform quality control checks on bulk supplies and vehicles. The tester accurately measures DEF for the right urea content, providing a digital measurement in seconds. The Reichert Digital DEF-Chek tester is powered by two AAA batteries. Visit www.reichertai.com/automotive.html for more.


Green Fleet Technologies

The developer and manufacturer of hybrid power systems for commercial vehicles, Eaton’s parallel hybrid systems are already in use in many utility fleets. Available through truck manufacturers, the systems include the electric hybrid solution featuring an engine-off power-takeoff (ePTO), and an optional auxiliary power generator and AC power panel for utility, telecom and municipal operations using medium-duty bucket trucks.

The Eaton electric hybrid power system maintains the vehicle’s conventional drivetrain and blends engine torque with electric torque. The system recovers power normally lost during braking and stores the energy in batteries. It can provide ePTO and work site capability for operations needing hydraulic and electric power on job sites. The system is coupled with the vehicle’s engine and Eaton’s UltraShift automated manual transmission and clutch. Between the output side of the clutch and the transmission, the system includes an electric motor/generator that is connected to a power inverter and lithium-ion batteries, and is controlled with an electronic control module.

Eaton also offers its Hydraulic Launch Assist (HLA) hydraulic hybrid system. During regeneration with the HLA system, the vehicle’s kinetic energy that is normally lost during braking is captured and used to drive a pump, which transfers hydraulic fluid from a low-pressure reservoir to a high-pressure accumulator.

As the fluid pumps into the accumulator, it compresses nitrogen gas and pressurizes the system. The regenerative braking captures about 70 percent of the kinetic energy produced during braking. For acceleration, the fluid in the high-pressure accumulator is released to drive the system’s motor, which propels the vehicle by transmitting torque to the driveshaft.

The Eaton HLA system has two different operating modes: economy and performance. In economy mode, the energy stored in the accumulator during braking is used to initially accelerate the vehicle. Once the accumulator has emptied, the engine will begin to perform the acceleration. In performance mode, acceleration is created by both the energy stored in the accumulator and the engine. Once the accumulator has emptied, the engine is completely responsible for acceleration.

Visit www.eaton.com for more information.

Working with Delphi Automotive and Remy International, Allison has developed a hybrid propulsion system for medium-duty trucks. The new technology combines an Allison 3000 Series automatic transmission, Remy International’s High Voltage Hairpin (HVH) electric motor-generator, and Delphi Automotive’s lithium-ion energy storage system and transmission control module.

The Allison Hybrid, according to the company, combines the benefits of the three suppliers’ systems to offer better fuel economy. Among the fuel-saving features of the Allison automatic is the manufacturer’s torque converter technology that is designed to provide for full power shifts, using engine power more efficiently and consuming less fuel. The Remy HVH electric motor-generator, Allison also notes, is a compact design that captures more braking energy while using less energy to generate propulsion power and torque.

Tailored to meet the specific needs of any medium-duty truck application, the Allison Hybrid utilizes Delphi’s scalable lithium-ion energy storage system. The Delphi modular design also includes a transmission control module with the computing capability, memory and processing speed to control the entire hybrid system.

Visit www.allisontransmission.com for more information.

alte-webALTe Powertrain Technologies
Range-extended electric powertrains for light- and medium-duty vehicles up to 26,000 pounds GVW will be available from ALTe initially through a nationwide network of conversion facilities. Eventually, ALTe expects to sell and license its technology to OEMs.

The major components of the ALTe powertrain include a 20 kWh lithium-ion battery pack, a four-cylinder engine, electric drive motors, a generator, a proprietary hybrid controller unit and HVAC modules. The powertrain is projected to provide an initial 30 miles of driving in an all-electric mode, powered directly from the lithium-ion battery pack. The vehicle can then drive an estimated additional 275 miles in a charge-sustained mode before the vehicle would need to be either plugged in or refueled. The battery pack can be charged within an eight-hour time frame from a 110-volt outlet or in about four hours from a 220-volt outlet.

ALTe, a shortened version of the words “alternative energy,” recently announced a contract with Remy to supply HVH 250 electric motors that will act as onboard generators to recharge batteries and deliver electric drivetrain traction power for ALTe’s powertrain conversions. A joint venture with Inmatech Inc. will produce hybrid electric storage devices composed of batteries, supercapacitors and control electronics. An agreement between ALTe and Manheim will provide installation of its powertrains in vehicles at Manheim locations.

Visit www.altellc.com for more information.

azure-dynamics-2-webAzure Dynamics
The Balance Hybrid Electric vehicle from Azure Dynamics is built on a Ford E-450 commercial stripped or cutaway chassis with a modified drivetrain and electronic controls system. The system’s traction motor, in parallel with the unit’s Ford 5.4-liter EFI FFV gasoline V8 engine and automatic transmission, propels the vehicle. The traction motor assists acceleration and captures energy during regenerative braking events. This energy is stored in the energy storage system (ESS). When the vehicle comes to a stop, the engine will shut off and the electric power assist system is enabled to maintain power steering, power brakes and 12-volt charging.

The Azure system also has an integrated starter generator mounted to the front of the engine, which is used to provide quick restarts of the engine when accelerating from a stop. It also generates power to charge the ESS. The high-voltage system is self-contained and does not have to be plugged in to an external power source for charging.

Visit www.azuredynamics.com for more information.

odyne-webOdyne Systems, LLC
The Odyne hybrid propulsion system for medium- and heavy-duty work trucks with extended stationary PTO job site functions – such as bucket trucks, digger derricks and cranes – can be applied to most new chassis or as a retrofit. The Odyne plug-in hybrid drive system uses a Remy HVH 250 electric motor, and provides 50-HP launch assist capability, regenerative braking or plug-in charging, and electrical energy storage to power air conditioning and cab heaters while the engine is off. Exportable power up to 7000W is available from the system’s 14 kWh or 28 kWh lithium-ion battery pack.

The Odyne hybrid system is compatible with most chassis over 14,000 pounds GVW and does not require drivetrain modifications. The system’s integration is simplified through the power takeoff (PTO) and propulsion components are placed within chassis frame rails for ease of installation. Battery packs can be placed in a variety of locations

Visit www.odyne.com for more information.

quantum-3-webQuantum Fuel Systems Technologies Worldwide Inc.
Quantum Fuel Systems Technologies offers a plug-in hybrid electric (PHEV) conversion for Ford F-150 model pickup trucks. Pilot vehicles will be available for fleet testing in the fourth quarter of 2011. Production at the manufacturer’s Lake Forest, Calif., facility is scheduled to begin in the third quarter of 2012. Base vehicles shipped to the facility are partially disassembled, the new drive system is installed and tested, and the vehicle is reassembled and shipped to the customer.

The Quantum PHEV is powered by the company’s F-Drive hybrid drive system, developed specifically for Ford F-150 4×4 Regular and SuperCab models with a 145-inch wheelbase. The system provides a 35-mile electric-only range, shifting to hybrid electric mode for a total range of more than 400 miles. The F-Drive has been integrated in the F-150 pickup truck to ensure there is no loss of cab or cargo space, and to maintain full ground clearance. F-150 models with the Quantum system have a payload capacity up to 900 pounds and towing capacity up to 5,800 pounds. The 150 kW parallel hybrid drive system can be recharged using 110- or 220-volt power.

Quantum provides a five-year/75,000-mile limited warranty on the drive system. The company also trains fleet maintenance personnel on servicing the system and has an on-call team available to support customer fleet maintenance departments.

Visit www.qtww.com for more information.

City of Sacramento

For the City of Sacramento, Calif., the recent implementation of vehicle telematics has led to significant reductions in fleet fuel consumption and operating costs. Recently, the municipal fleet equipped more than 400 of its vehicles with electronic fleet management products from Zonar Systems.

“Utilizing trip-level metrics on operator behavior and vehicle performance directly impacts behavior and leads to improved fuel efficiency,” said Keith Leech, City of Sacramento’s fleet manager. “Visibility into fleet operations brings automatic accountability that impacts workforce productivity.

“Performance and cost data prior to and post-Zonar installation, for a sampling of 184 of the city’s fleet vehicles representing 14 different vehicle types, was analyzed to conduct an ROI analysis,” Leech continued. “The analysis identified savings in excess of $60,000 a month in fuel costs alone, quite an impressive figure considering the cost to equip those 184 vehicles was just over $110,000. Simply stated, the Zonar system paid for itself in just two short months, making it an excellent investment for the city and a real money-saver for the taxpayers.”

The Zonar solution optimizes vehicle routes, monitors vehicle performance, identifies opportunities for improvements in driver behavior and streamlines the pre- and post-trip inspection process. Products include an Electronic Vehicle Inspection Report (EVIR) that ensures pre- and post-trip inspection compliance while eliminating paperwork and speeding vehicle repair; V2J with HD-GPS capabilities that combine real-time delivery of vehicle location, operation, fuel consumption and performance data in one device; and Ground Traffic Control, a Web-based fleet management portal that provides managers with visibility into fleet performance information.

Utility Fleet Professional

360 Memorial Drive, Suite 10, Crystal Lake, IL 60014 | 815.459.1796


Utility Fleet Professional is produced by Utility Business Media, Inc.   View Capabilities Statement

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