Several of the latest solar-powered electric express delivery cars, called Solar Runner #1, were placed in the hands of China’s top delivery companies, STO Express and ZJS Express, last month on the occasion of 49th World Post Day.
World Post day happens each year on October 9, the anniversary of the Universal Postal Union, which started in 1874 in Switzerland and is now celebrated throughout the world.
The new express delivery cars are equipped with thin film solar modules from a subsidiary of the world’s largest thin film power company, Hanergy Mobile Energy Holdings Group, based in Beijing.
The cars' high-performance, low-temperature lithium batteries offer a daily range of up to 100 kilometers (60 miles), nearly twice the mileage of ordinary delivery cars.
In China, the last three kilometers (two miles) of delivery is usually completed with delivery cars, usually powered by electricity.
Traditional express delivery cars face several problems: low battery capacity, centralized charging and dangers caused by stacking goods on top; leading to poor endurance, high safety risks during recharging and severe transportation risks during running.
Solar Runner #1 cars can increase the efficiency of express delivery companies by saving them the cost and trouble of centralized charging, extending mileage by 50 percent and charging the battery with solar energy even in cold weather.
The company's copper indium gallium selenide thin-film solar cells have the highest module conversion efficiency in the world, with R&D conversion rates of up to 21 percent, and have been certified by the German Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems.
They can operate without charging for three consecutive weeks or even longer, depending on level of sunshine and length of daily working hours.
A surveillance camera has been installed at the rear of the Solar Runner #1 cars in order to reduce the chance of accidents.
The Solar Runner #1 cars can acquire data from Internet, making battery status, power generation condition, route lines and distance easily accessible to drivers.
The solar EVs can be connected to a customer's mobile phone, and they come equipped with an intelligent anti-theft function.
Supplemented with a solar powered battery replacement service, the subsidiary, Hanergy Glory Solar Technology Co., Ltd, offers a 100 percent green and economical “Charge Never” solution for delivery companies.
The express delivery cars were assembled by Hanergy Glory Solar Technology in collaboration with Hebei Nachi New Energy Automotive Technology.
It’s not for the first time that the company’s advanced thin film power technology has been put to use in courier cars.
Hanergy's thin-film solar technology has also been applied to the cars of a number of other delivery companies, including those of SF Express and JD Logistics.
Lu Tao, CEO of Hanergy Glory Solar Technology, said, "We’re on a mission to improve China's express delivery industry by bringing to an effective use our advanced thin film power technology. We’re committed to design an innovative solar express delivery car solution that is cordless charging via solar power."
"We hope our contribution is directed towards creating a true green express delivery industry," Lu said. “In the future, we hope to bring more mobile energy solutions to various industries."
The market demand for China's express delivery industry has grown rapidly. In 2017, the quantity of express delivery business reached 40.1 billion pieces, an increase of 28 percent year-on-year.
The revenue of the industry took a leap by 24.5 percent compared to the year before, recording a total revenue of RMB 495 billion in Chinese currency (US$71.4 billion).
Now, becoming aware of the threat of climate chante, the express delivery industry is getting cautious about reducing carbon emissions, leading to the increased demand for solar-powered express delivery cars.
By Sunny Lewis
Environment News Service (ENS)
November 5, 2018