The U. S. Postal Service and General Motors’ Project Driveway are teaming up to test the Chevy Equinox Fuel Cell vehicle in Irvine, California and Washington DC. Now, if you’ve read this blog for even a short time you’ll realize that I live a relatively short distance from Irvine. In fact, I’ve taken photos of the hydrogen filling station in Irvine with a description of what one can expect to find at this public facility.
The Post Office runs the largest civilian fleet of vehicles in the world with 220,000 autos and trucks in service. Of this number 195,000 are mail delivery vehicles. And, of this number 43,000 are testing alternative technologies with the motivation of reducing gasoline consumption.
Last year the Postal Service spent $1.7 billion on fuel. This number will increase by $600 million this year because of rising fuel prices. Besides hydrogen autos and vehicles, the U. S. Postal Service is also testing vehicles that run on ethanol, battery-electric, CNG and next year they hope to have a Ford plug-in electric vehicle to test as well.
One technology that hasn’t come up on the Post Office radar yet is the hydrogen generator that can be used in autos and trucks to save significant gas mileage reduce emissions. The Chevy Equinox FCV is a good start and will be a great longer term solution. If the U. S. Postal Service also is open to hydrogen fuel injection they will have an economical and robust short term solution as well.