Whether it’s your local grocery store or Amazon Prime, on-demand food deliveries are on the rise. That’s why electric delivery vehicle maker Chanje has partnered with refrigeration unit supplier Thermo King on a prototype zero-emissions refrigerated van.
The vehicle will debut at this week’s Advanced Clean Transportation Expo in Long Beach, Calif.
“The global refrigerated vehicle market is expected to reach $16.5 billion by 2022,” said Ian Televik, director of marketing for Chanje, based in Los Angeles. “In the U.S., we are seeing increasing demand for medium-duty, last-mile refrigerated solutions due to a steady increase in consumers doing their shopping online and expecting fast home deliveries.”
The demonstration vehicle is a version of the Chanje V8100 all-electric, medium-duty panel van. It’s outfitted with a Thermo King V-520RT refrigeration unit and Thermo Lite solar panels on the roof that help maintain the van’s electric range.
The refrigerated box is 400 cubic feet and is designed to stay cool in ambient conditions exceeding 100 degrees for a 10-hour delivery cycle that includes door openings, drive time and delivery stops, according to Steve Hubbard, engineering leader for Thermo King, based in Minneapolis, Minn.
Without the refrigerated unit, the Chanje V8100 is capable of traveling 120 to 150 miles per charge. “We expect to take 5 to 10 percent of that available energy for our refrigerated use,” Hubbard said, “so it’s still well over 100 miles of range.”
To help offset the load from the refrigerated system and maximize the vehicle’s range, 400 watts of Thermo Lite solar panels are installed on its roof.
Thermo King has made one demonstration vehicle for the U.S. and two for Europe. It plans to test them with current and prospective customers.
“Most customers want to experiment with electrification for their sustainability initiatives and also for the purpose of improved maintenance costs and total operating costs,” Hubbard said, “but they don’t know what they need yet. They’re not sure whether or not 100 miles of range before recharge will suffice for their needs, so that’s the basis for this demo unit – to be able to put it into operation with customers and have them give us feedback.”
The Thermo King/Chanje electric refrigerated delivery van could be commercially available within two or three years, Hubbard said.