The conversion to hybrid electric delivery trucks is gaining ground as Purolator Courier has ordered 200 Balance Hybrid Electric delivery trucks from Azure Dynamics Corp. The order is the single largest to date for Azure, which is working with some of the largest package delivery companies in the world, including FedEx.

The order will bring the total number of Azure trucks in Purolator’s fleet to 405. Delivery is scheduled for sometime next year. Purolator is Canada’s largest package delivery company.

“This order represents the culmination of our Balance Hybrid Electric efforts over the past several years,” said Scott Harrison, Azure Dynamics CEO. “More importantly, the order represents a catapult into 2010 and beyond. Our product IS delivering on its promises and becoming the preferred hybrid electric technology solution for hard working, urban delivery truck and shuttle bus applications. As a result, our volume is up, costs are down and we're engaging new and repeat customers who increasingly understand our value proposition.”

“Purolator is a responsible corporation that protects and preserves the environment by reducing the impact of its operations and services,” said Serge Viola, director, national fleet and ground linehaul for Purolator. “Our new order of Azure’s hybrid electric trucks reflects our continued confidence in the performance of their vehicles. Meanwhile, the technology helps us by substantially reducing tailpipe emissions, reducing operating costs and improving fuel economy and up time.”

The Balance hybrid vehicles are based on a Ford E450 chassis and include a hybrid electric powertrain that shuts off the engine at idle and below 20 mph while continuing to power key functions, such as power steering and braking. The powertrain includes a Ford 5.4 liter gasoline engine and can improve fuel economy by up to 40% while reducing carbon emissions by up to 30% in city operations, said Azure.