Testing and Evaluation of Fuel Cell Vehicle Technology in the United States Postal Service 2006-01-3295
As the owner of the largest non-military vehicle fleet in the world, the United States Postal Service (USPS) has been a pioneer and a leader among all federal agencies in adopting alternative fuel initiatives, continuing to work in cooperation with the vehicle industry to develop new ways to reduce fuel consumption and air pollution.
Given that hydrogen can be produced from a variety of energy sources, it is considered by most to be the ultimate energy carrier for relieving the U.S. of its dependence on imported oil. Hydrogen fuel cell vehicles operate via an electro-chemical process that converts pure hydrogen into water and electricity, producing zero emissions and potentially doubling the energy efficiency seen in today's gasoline-powered vehicles.
This paper describes the USPS experiences gained during operational testing and evaluation of a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle at Fort Belvoir, Virginia. Included in the discussion are lessons learned-specifically regarding fuel cell vehicle operation in a delivery environment- and USPS future testing plans.