US Electricar's USPS EV Program

February 03, 1999 by Jeff Shepard

US Electricar Inc. (Torrance, CA) announced it has delivered its tenth electric delivery truck to the US Postal Service (USPS) in Westminster, California, completing a two-phased program to build EV postal trucks. US Electricar has been contracted by the Postal Service to convert gasoline-powered Grumman Olsen built Long Life Vehicle (LLV) delivery trucks into electric powered vehicles. The USPS's two-phase program is being conducted to test and evaluate electric vehicle capabilities to meet the Federal Clean Air Requirements established for Federal fleets. In Phase I, US Electricar delivered six electric conversion vehicles, three for evaluation in Merrifield, Virginia, and three to Harbor City, California. The four delivered last month as part of phase II are currently in day-to-day operations at the Westminster Post Office.The vehicles delivered in the second phase incorporated a number of technology advancements, including the US Electricar-designed Panther 60 drive system and battery management. The Panther 60 system is a fully integrated 60kW ac induction drive system, which includes a 1.2kW dc/dc converter, heat pump and power steering controller, and a 6.6W on-board charger. The system allows the ability to charge the batteries with both inductive and conductive charging systems concurrently. According to US Electricar, the Panther system is currently entering into production electric vehicles manufactured by Hyundai Motor Co. (Korea). The Panther system, installed in three separate vehicles including a Post Office delivery truck, has been certified by the California Air Resources Board.