Axles for zero-emission delivery vehicles

Paul Boughton

A new series of drive axles from Newage Transmissions has been specified by Electric Vehicles International (EVI) for use in zero-emissions delivery vans developed by the company to address the problem of polluted urban environments.

Based on Newage's proven 215, 415 and 615 series units, the new axles incorporate automotive style drum brakes, which significantly reduce vehicle rolling resistance and provide a 15 per cent increase in vehicle range over traditional oil immersed braked variants.

Low drag 215 series axles have been selected by US-based EVI for its latest range of Sherpa delivery vehicles; battery powered units that can transport payloads of 2.5 tonnes at up to 32 mph. With an operating range of up to 75 miles, Sherpas are already in service; proving their worth in locations such as Mexico City, one of the world's most heavily polluted conurbations.

“We have worked closely with EVI to produce a design that is superior to traditional units in all areas of its performance - including reduced drag, increased vehicle range and battery life,” says Newage's off-highway sales manager, Peter Townsend.

“Modular design principles and flexible manufacturing methods are at the heart of our ability to tailor driveline component specifications and characteristics to customers' individual requirements. They also underpin our work on a number of other applications, including the use of drum braked 615 type axles on EVI's 'Eltram' shuttle buses,” he continues. “These battery powered vehicles can transport 16 passengers at up to 25 mph and are currently in use at a number of theme parks, airports, college campuses and in inner city areas throughout the USA.”

Further applications in the pipeline include the use of drum braked Newage 415 series axle on a higher payload version of EVI's electric delivery vehicle, as well as the specification of Newage equipment for several other battery and hybrid powered vehicles currently under development for on and off-highway operation.

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