Canada Post to Replace Fleet with More Fuel-Efficient Ford Transit Connect


Photo: Ford
Good Start, But What About CNG and Electric?
Canada Post (CP) has a very large fleet of vehicles, most of which spend most weekdays on the road, stopping and starting, idling... This is expensive in fuel costs, and it produces a lot of polluting emissions. Right now, CP uses mostly Grumman LLV light transport trucks (see photo below) that get about 16 MPG in the city. But that's about to change: CP and Ford have announced that just this year 1,175 Ford Transit Connect vans will be purchased by CP to modernise its fleet.

One of the Grumman LLV light trucks used by the US Postal Service. Photo: Wikipedia, CC
About 37% More Fuel-Efficient
Compared to the old Grumman LLVs, the new Transit Connects get about 37% better fuel economy (22 MPG in the city, 25 MPG on the highway) and should be an improvement in all other areas (operational costs, safety, emissions, performance).

Unfortunately, Ford and Canada Post didn't go as far as they could have. The Transit Connects that were ordered are the 2.0-liter gasoline models, but there also exists a 1.8-liter diesel version, and a compressed natural gas (CNG) version would've made a lot of sense. Fleet vehicles have predictable routes and they can be refuelled centrally (so the lack of a CNG infrastructure elsewhere wouldn't matter much), and CNG burns a lot more cleanly than gasoline or diesel:

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency calculated the potential benefits of CNG versus gasoline [...]

  • Produce half the particulate matter of average diesel vehicles
  • Significantly reduce carbon monoxide emissions
  • Reduce nitrogen oxide and volatile organic hydrocarbon emissions by 50% or more
  • Potentially reduce carbon dioxide emissions 25% depending on the source of the natural gas
  • Drastically reduce toxic and carcinogenic pollutants
  • Increase methane emissions (not a benefit)
The Future is Electric An electric version would be even better (Smith Electric Vehicles makes an electric Transit Connect that they call the Ampere and a more official version is made by Azure Dynamics), but range and cost probably aren't there yet for such a large fleet buy. Maybe in a couple of years...

Via Ford, Autoblog
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