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R&B Trucking               

profile_r_b_large.jpgWelcoming the Little Engine That Could

You don’t often find truckers who are proud to say they have an engine that’s smaller than most, but that’s the case with Paul Cunnington. That’s because his Victoria-based company, R&B Trucking, is about to take ownership of a specially modified 2008 Freightliner that’s the first Class 5 vehicle of its kind in Western Canada.

This vehicle is special because it comes equipped with a hybrid-electric engine that’s about the same size as a diesel motor in a pickup.  The key difference is the hybrid-electric power plant is far more fuel efficient, leading to a big drop in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

“I believe we should do what we can to minimize our impact on the environment,” explains Cunnington.  “Purchasing this urban delivery truck may appear to be a relatively small step when it comes to the big picture but, should the modifications lead to the improvements we’re hoping, I’ll be the first to get the word out to other fleet operators about the benefits of going hybrid-electric.”

It shouldn’t take long to do that.  R&B Trucking is a key participant in Green Fleets BC’s enviroTruck program, where companies are encouraged to move towards environmentally friendly technologies and then share their experiences with others in the industry.   Cunnington is already aware of a number of companies intrigued by R&B’s decision to get the truck and want to know how it performs.

“Apart from the dramatic environmental benefits that we’re expecting,“ explains Cunnington, “with the price of diesel having doubled in the past few years, anything that can potentially shave thousands of dollars off our fuel bill is welcome.”

R&B Trucking will realize further benefits by switching the truck’s refrigeration unit to a 100 per cent electric motor. The switch to an electric motor will:

  • eliminate the need for a second diesel motor to supply the refrigeration unit;
  • drastically reduce GHG emissions  and noise compared to a diesel engine; and
  • through electronic retardation, convert energy lost during braking into electricity and reroute it back to the refrigeration unit.

With companies like Coca-Cola in the US ordering dozens of these specially equipped vehicles, Cunnington says he’s confident R&B Trucking is on the right track.

“Look at taxis,” says Cunnington. “A few years ago, there were just a few electric-hybrid cabs in Victoria. Now, almost all of them are hybrids. I think it will be the same with our industry, especially for fleets that do a lot of urban deliveries like us.”

E3 Fleet Partners

The E3 Fleet program reflects the commitment and expertise of many people, including some of the country’s most innovative fleet managers. All have a common passion – to see Canada’s fleets take a cleaner, green road to the future.

The Fraser Basin Council launched E3 Fleet in 2006 in cooperation with Climate Change Central (Alberta) and Fleet Challenge. Since October 2016, the program has been managed by Richmond Sustainability Initiatives (RSI).

The E3 Fleet Charter members were also pivotal to its success: Auto-Gas Propane, BC Hydro, BC Ministry of Environment, City of Coquitlam, Corporation of Delta, Enbridge, City of Hamilton, Hydro One, City of Kelowna, Township of Langley, District of Maple Ridge, City of North Vancouver, Novex Couriers, City of Prince George, District of Saanich, University of BC and Municipality of Whistler. We’ve enjoyed the journey so far, and it’s only just begun. Join us!

E3 Fleet in Brief

E3 Fleet is a Canada-wide program that helps public and private sector organizations green up their vehicle fleets.

E3 Fleet offers information and tools to help you increase fuel efficiency in your fleet, reduce harmful emissions, manage expenses, and incorporate new technologies, fuels and best management practices. We offer Fleet Review and Fleet Rating, unique opportunities for you to boost fleet performance and receive recognition for that achievement.

New Management

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In October 2016 Richmond Sustainability Initiatives (RSI) assumed management of the E3 Fleet program from the Fraser Basin Council. RSI is recognized for its work on green transportation and green building projects across North America and is host to Fleet Challenge.

Reach Us

For more information on the E3 Fleet program, contact:

Roger Smith
Partner, Transportation, RSI
T: 416 418-9931

Melissa Felder
Engineering Partner, Energy, Green Buildings & Film, RSI
T: 416 951-9030

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