An increasing number are willing to buy plug-in hybrids from Toyota, Chevy, Ford, Fisker. Oil prices have doubled from their low this year. People are setting up to save on fuel for years, by using more low-cost electricity and less gasoline.
The amount of money spent for fuel is about millions for the delivery of our mail and goods. About one million new vans are bought annually in North America.
Ford is preparing to take orders from municipalities and other government organizations that will use the new Transit Connect light-duty van in a range of transportation applications .Deliverance of these electric vehicles, made for Ford by Smith Electric Vehicles, will start in 2010.
South Coast Air Quality Management District has helped fleets attain considerable mileage gains with Sprinter Vans converted to be plug-in hybrid.
The electric utility that helps to power these plug-ins often have thousands of vehicles in their fleet. Ford F550s were first converted into hybrids and now into plug-in hybrid trouble trucks. In addition to using a lesser amount of diesel fuel, these trucks can run all their accessories electrically.
Plug-in vans and trucks can have a major influence on U.S. oil dependency. The Federal, state, and local fleets own 4 million vehicles. Corporations have bigger range of total fleets. There is great curiosity in extending the electric-range of vehicles. More attention has been placed on battery enhancement. A more sensible way to expand range is to make vehicles more aerodynamic and lighter.
Bright Automotive desires to make 50,000 plug-in hybrid vans per year that are built from the ground-up to deliver 100 mpg in a van that can carry 180 cubic feet of cargo. A typical van shipping such load might achieve 15 mpg. The Bright IDEA van weighs only 3,200 pounds, less than a Prius, and can go 30 miles on battery power alone. It is expected to be stronger than steel, yet manufactured with light-weight aluminum and composite material like the Tesla. With a sub-.3 drag coefficient, the van only needs a 10 kWh lithium battery pack. In challenging delivery applications, each Bright IDEA could save $6,000 per year in fuel.