Big Green cargo truck
helps ‘electrify’ seafood
deliveries in Big Apple
May 27, 2010 10:17 AM
Big Green, an all-electric refrigerated cargo truck manufactured cooperatively in the Midwest, is making its first deliveries for a seafood business in New York City.
Down East Seafood owner Ed Taylor and his employees nicknamed the vehicle Big Green because of its green paint job and its green technology. The truck joins the Down East fleet that makes intercity deliveries of fresh fish from the wholesale business in Hunts Point, New York City’s large food distribution center.
A cooperative effort among Brown Cargo Van in Lawrence KS, Smith Electric Vehicles in Kansas City MO, and Dole Refrigerating Company in Lewisburg TN, the zero-emissions delivery truck was made specifically for carrying fresh food and frozen products, like the shrimp, lobsters, oysters, and sea bass that Down East hauls.
The refrigeration unit and the Smith electric truck use no fossil fuels. Both the chassis drive motor and refrigeration compressor are fully electric and get plugged in at night. Blower fans that run throughout the day operate from an auxiliary 24-volt lead acid battery system.
Taylor’s trips into Manhattan include stops at hotels, clubs, restaurants, gourmet stores, the Federal Reserve, the United Nations, and sports venues like Yankee Stadium. The trip is usually 60 miles—well under the range of 150 miles before a battery charge is needed.
The electric refrigerated vehicle can be used for any type of refrigerated or frozen cargo as long as the user has a dedicated route structure with vehicles returning to the home base daily, according to Ron Thomson, Brown Cargo Van sales director.
Taylor contacted Smith Electric in autumn 2009, and Smith asked Brown Cargo Van to build the refrigerated box. Brown requested the refrigeration work of Dole Refrigerating, which modified its cold-plate system to operate effectively on the Smith chassis. Brown designers blended the two technologies, and in April, Brown workers placed the reefer with its refrigeration unit onto the Smith chassis.
Taylor himself drove Big Green for its first deliveries May 14. He credits New York local and state agencies for support and grant money, including the Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, the Center for Sustainable Energy at Bronx Community College, and US Rep José E. Serrano’s office.
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