Foton to deliver 1,000 sanitation vehicles in Beijing
Updated: 2012-06-13 09:36
By Wang Chao in Beijing (chinadaily.com.cn)
Beiqi Foton Motor Co Ltd, one of the major electric commercial vehicle manufacturers in China, will deliver 1,000 sanitation vehicles for the Beijing government by the end of June.
These vehicles will serve for trash pickup, road cleaning and sprinkling in Beijing.
By the end of 2012, Foton will deliver a total of 2,084 electric sanitation vehicles to the city, the company said.
Tian Bin, a senior engineer at the Foton Research Center, said these electric trucks runs at a maximum speed of 80 kilometers per hour, and can last a range of 150 kilometers per charge.
"That is more than enough for a sanitation vehicle," he said.
The 8-ton truck carries four battery sets which weigh nearly one ton in total. To make the cleaning works more efficient, drivers can either recharge the truck with a charging pole, or simply change the battery sets for new ones in a battery station.
Currently, there are only a few trial battery stations in Beijing, but companies such as China Potevio are building more to encourage EV drivers to change batteries, as a supplement to charging stations.
These electric sanitation vehicles can be fully charged in one hour during the lunch time, and go back to work in the afternoon, Tian said.
Foton Vice-President Zhao Jingguang said that compared with conventional combustion vehicles, these sanitation trucks eliminate CO2 emission and noises.
"Many citizens have complained about the noises of conventional sanitation vehicles, since they usually work in the early morning when most people are sleeping," Zhao said.
Lu Jinjun, deputy director of the Foton Research Center, said as the Chinese government is making harsh requirements on automakers in terms of energy-saving and emission standards, they have to adapt to this policy.
"We are under great pressure to achieve these environmental goals. To live up to the government's requirements, we have to turn the company's direction to electric and hybrid."
Zhao said although Foton will not give up any technology route that has a market, be it gasoline, hybrid, or electric, electric vehicles will be the mainstream products of Foton's new energy fleets.
However, the electric vehicles are still highly dependent on government subsidies. Based on the existing policies, individuals purchasing electric cars can receive a price deduction of 60,000 yuan from the central government and another 60,000 deduction from the Beijing municipal government.
Zhao said the high cost of battery is the major reason that pushes up the prices of EVs. "Currently, nearly one third of the EV cost comes from the batteries," Zhao said. "At this stage, we have to rely on the government support to roll out EVs and charging infrastructures."
Foton began to supply the Beijing government with electric sanitation vehicles since 2009, when the government bought 24 units for pilot operation. Up to now, Foton has sold about 6,000 units of new energy vehicles, including electric and hybrid-electric, in the Chinese market.