Unicell introduces Zero Emission Electric Delivery Vehicle

Truck body manufacturer takes their fuel-saving designs into the future.
Buffalo, NY, September 24, 2007 – Unicell, a leading truck body design and manufacturing company in the US and Canada, has completed a prototype of the first zero emission vehicle of its weight class to be used within a courier fleet in Canada. Built in partnership with ArvinMeritor, the world’s largest truck suspension company, and in collaboration with Purolator, Canada’s leading overnight courier company, the Quicksider is now ready to begin road testing on the streets of Toronto.

Officially launched at Purolator’s Metro West facility in Toronto, the Quicksider is expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by over 80% compared to current technology, well ahead of the target set by the Ontario and Toronto governments for greenhouse gas reductions by the year 2050. “It will play an important role in fulfilling our commitment to protect and preserve the environment and reduce the environmental impacts of our operations and services,” stated Bob Johnson, President and C.E.O. at Purolator.

Roger Martin, Chairman of Unicell, said the Quicksider “is zero emission in operation because it is fully electric. Its on-board energy source is a battery.” The Quicksider further contributes to a cleaner environment by minimizing energy use with its regenerative braking system, no idling, and aerodynamic design. A low, “kneeling” floor, hands-free doors, and tight turning radius will improve delivery operations and safety. The vehicle is expected to have substantially lower maintenance costs because of its simple electric drive train and its use of regenerative braking, which puts braking energy back into the battery rather than wearing out conventional brake components.

Following the successful completion of the prototype tests, Unicell plans to assemble a small fleet of improved Quicksiders for more extensive testing. Sustainable Development Technology Canada, a not-for-profit corporation created by the Government of Canada, has allocated $2.1 million to this next phase of the project.

Founded in 1977, the Unicell group, with manufacturing facilities in Toronto and Buffalo, NY, produces and distributes a full line of truck bodies and equipment. Like the Quicksider, all Unicell brand van and truck bodies are molded in one continuous fiberglass piece. Using 3D CAD, Unicell’s latest designs are shaped to smoothly integrate various truck cabs to be visually attractive and to minimize aerodynamic drag. Its patented Aerocell and Aerocell SRW models have been sold in every Canadian province and in most US states. Unicell partners with Ford and General Motors to facilitate quick availability of completed commercial trucks for truck dealers and their customers.

With strong capabilities in areas of design, engineering and manufacturing, Unicell produces custom bodies, trailers and equipment for customers with unusual requirements. In addition to their van body line, Unicell installs light to medium duty dump and service bodies, snowplows and other truck equipment at their New York facilities in Buffalo, Rochester, and Schenectady for distribution throughout the northeastern U.S.