Since its establishment in 2008, FPInnovations’ PIT Group has offered customized technological solutions and assistance to fleet managers who wish to reduce the cost and environmental impact of their operations, as well as improve operational safety. This year, the group made great progress in innovative green technologies and entering the U.S. market.
YYC electric passenger shuttle
PIT Group brought together Quebec-based partners, PRECICAD, KARGO, Innovative Vehicle Institute, and Deutschman Design, to design and build electric shuttles for the Calgary International Airport (YYC). The specifications requested a “signature” shuttle; one that was not off-the-shelf, but completely customized to transport passengers between concourses at YYC’s newly expanded facility. In October 2016, after 30 months of hard work, FPInnovations and its partners delivered 20 state-of-the-art, zero-emission, compact shuttles. YYC built a dedicated indoor route between terminals to transport connecting passengers that pass through the airport. This is an exceptional demonstration of how the FPInnovations hub can be crucial to the transportation industry.
Closing the innovation loop: driving electric vehicles to the forest sector
In an example of knowledge sharing at its best, FPInnovations is taking the experience acquired from the electric airport shuttle and bringing it back to the forest sector. The PIT Group has entered into an agreement with a strategic partner to support the development of a fully electric Class 8 truck. The team plans to have a vehicle ready for highway testing by the middle of 2018.
Inroads into the U.S. market
PIT Group’s first steps to entering the U.S. market have proven to be very successful. With its current membership at six U.S.-based carriers representing nearly 20,000 trucks, PIT Group has significantly grown its presence in that country. Successful activities demonstrating the team’s value and expertise have been vital to its success.
• Fuel consumption test campaign – PIT Group’s success in the U.S. convinced several truck OEMs representing various combinations of tractors and powertrains supplied by numerous manufacturers, to run a unique testing campaign at U.S. Xpress’ truck facility, where pre-commercial units were tested. Thanks to first-hand results and knowledge obtained, improved vehicle specifications have already been developed that provide for a significant competitive edge.
“The fact that a major carrier like U.S. Xpress has joined PIT Group and that it did so immediately after the tests were carried out at its facilities emphasizes the valuable contribution we can make to all types of fleets in the North American transportation industry.” — PIT Group Business and New Market Development Manager, Yves Provencher
• Fleet efficiency review – PIT Group’s latest offering, fleet efficiency reviews, is also aiding its entrance into the U.S. by better understanding the market’s needs, while demonstrating PIT Group’s expertise and first-rate test results. Along with Dwayne Haug, a recognized industry expert, the team is executing comprehensive analyses of equipment and maintenance practices of carrier operations. Carrier companies are provided with action plans to stay abreast of best practices for operations and recommendations for strengthening fleets.
For more information on this project, please contact Yves Provencher.
This article was originally published in the 2016-2017 IMPACT magazine.