22 Aug 2014
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Patch Instagram photo by thesmallbusinessprophet
Patch Instagram photo by thesmallbusinessprophet

What's In An Emerald Automotive Hybrid Van?

With Wednesday's announcement that the British company would call Hazelwood home of its North American fleet, Hazelwood Patch explains what makes the company confident it's van can breathe new life into the area's dying manufacturing sector.

What's In An Emerald Automotive Hybrid Van? What's In An Emerald Automotive Hybrid Van?

Emerald Automotive is a relatively new company and will produce a fleet of electric and diesel powered delivery vans in Hazelwood.

The St. Louis area is ecstatic about the announcement of new vehicle pant assembly jobs with the hard blows served to the area in the demise of Ford and Chrysler, but does anyone really know what an Emerald vehicle really is?

The vehicle is a lightweight, electric hybrid commercial van. It is set to be initially sold in Europe, with some integration into America at a later date. England's postal service, Royal Mail, is said to be the first customer. Other potential customers could include delivery services and utility companies.

The vehicles will be built using existing component parts including some bumpers that will come from Ford. What sets this vehicle apart is the Lotus aluminum chassis.

Another big difference is what's under the hood. The engine will run on electric power, and also draw on other fuels. The engine could run on gas, CNG or biofuels. 

"We have a diesel engine that recharges the battery while the vehicle is moving," said Sharon Heaton, Emerald's general counsel and managing director of Wellford Energy, a clean tech advisory firm that advised Emerald's move overseas. "As a result we can get 475 miles on a range and could get that greater by using a different diesel motor."

Emerald Automotive is a U.S. company. Two entities own it. Both are Britian based. Andy Tempest is a senior partner at AGT Strategic, which helps develop ultra-low emission, lightweight delivery vans is one.

Intelligent Energy is the second owner. It employs 150 people and makes clean power systems for a lot of things including consumer electronics and motocycles.

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