Petit ForestierRefrigerated vehicle rental and contract hire company, Petit Forestier, has teamed up with Carrier Transicold UK and Iveco to build a next generation urban distribution vehicle for the temperature-controlled market.

Petit Forestier is making the vehicle available for customer trials over the next 12 months. Carrier Transicold helps improve global transport and shipping temperature control with a complete line of equipment for refrigerated trucks, trailers and containers, and is a part of UTC Climate, Controls & Security, a unit of United Technologies Corp. (NYSE: UTX).

The 7.0-tonne gross vehicle weight demonstrator is built on an Iveco Daily 70C17 chassis, mounted with a Lecapitaine multi-compartment body and a Pulsor™600 MT (multi-temperature) refrigeration unit with E-Drive™electric technology.

Petit Forestier has specified the vehicle for fleets delivering temperature-sensitive loads in dense urban areas. The vehicle offers a payload capacity of 3.0 tonnes – comparable with many small rigid trucks.

“The aim of the project has been to develop a concept vehicle using the most innovative transport refrigeration technology, coupled with sleek bodywork and a robust, lightweight, 7.0-tonne chassis. We’re already receiving significant interest in the demonstrator from fleets that need to deliver large loads of perishable or frozen produce in built-up environments,” said Martin Farrand, director, engineering, Petit Forestier.

“The key items on many fleet managers’ shopping lists are payload capacity, cooling capacity, fuel efficiency and temperature integrity. This demonstrator allows us to offer all that, whilst retaining the manoeuvrability and drivability of a light commercial vehicle (LCV).”

The fully-laden Daily chassis can transport a load equivalent to approximately three regular 3.5 tonne vehicles combined. This makes the 7-tonner ideal for even the most demanding LCV applications, whilst allowing fleets to significantly reduce fuel costs and emissions by using one vehicle instead of three.

The Pulsor 600 MT unit uses Carrier’s patented E-Drive technology to deliver impressive reliability thanks to fewer moving parts and fittings. It does this by removing mechanical transmissions found in traditional belt-driven systems and transforming engine power into electricity via a generator. The generator then channels electrical power to an inverter that regulates the power delivered according to refrigeration needs. Finally, a variable speed hermetic compressor operates according to the inverter’s output, delivering constant capacity in all refrigeration phases.

Unlike traditional refrigeration units which use a compressor connected to the vehicle’s engine, and which only reach optimum capacity at approximately 2,400 rpm, the Pulsor unit maintains a high and continuous capacity even at low engine speeds. This makes it ideally suited for multi-drop work in congested urban environments, where approximately 90 per cent of a typical journey is completed with engine speeds below 2,400 rpm – thereby avoiding the potential risk of damage to perishable cargo.

The Pulsor unit can reach the designated set point twice as fast as conventional technology, and is accurate to within +/- 0.3 degrees Celsius of the defined set point.