Peapod LLC added two gasoline-powered Workhorse walk-in delivery vans equipped with the Lightning Hybrids energy recovery system (ERS) to its Midwest fleet of 130 vehicles this week; the latest alternative propulsion venture for the online grocery delivery company.
“Peapod, by design, is a green company,” noted Claudia Fikert, transportation fleet administrator of the Midwest region for Peapod, in a statement.
“Every Peapod truck on the road eliminates the need for an average of 20 passenger vehicles to drive to the grocery store,” she said. “The addition of these hydraulic hybrid trucks to the Peapod fleet further increases the benefit and reduces our carbon footprint.”
Fikert told Fleet Owner at the 2016 Green Drives Conference and Expo this week that when the company decided to paint the exterior of its trucks green five years ago, work began on making the “inside of the trucks green as well.”
To date Peapod’s Midwest fleet operates 16 propane-powered walk-in cans, two by compressed natural gas (CNG) with five more on the order board for 2017, and now two hydraulic hybrids.
The Lightning Hybrids system uses hydraulic fluid to “capture” and store energy when the vehicle’s brakes are used. That energy is then used to help “launch” the vehicle, reducing the power demands on the engine and thus saving fuel.
Advanced VTech of Buffalo Grove, IL, installed the Lightning Hybrids hydraulic package as a retrofit onto the two Peapod vans and along with saving fuel, the technology is expected to cut emissions by 50%.
“The ERS system that we installed offers a quick return on investment due to outstanding fuel and brake savings,” noted Ron Sheble, VTech’s vice president of finance, in a statement. “We expect emissions to be reduced by 50% and the vehicles now have more power for acceleration and smoother braking.”
Peapod noted that its two hydraulic hybrid trucks are now in service on the streets of Chicago and were partially paid for by the Drive Clean Chicago voucher program, which provides incentives and grants for companies that invest in alternative fuel vehicles.