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Canada Post makes a special delivery to Centennial

Two Navistar eStar electric delivery vans that were donated by Canada Post to Centennial's School of Transportation
From left: Sean Squires, Chairperson, Motive Power Department, School of Transportation; Steve Clark, Director, Fleet Services, Canada Post; Barath Sockalingham, Manager, Vehicle Specifications, Canada Post; and Alan McClelland, Dean of the School of Transportation (photo: January 2020).

Canada’s postal service has made a special delivery to Centennial College in the form of two donated Navistar eStar electric delivery vans, which students will use to familiarize themselves with electric drivetrains as part of their skills training. The Canada Post trucks were retired after being in service in British Columbia since 2011, and have gained a second life by joining Centennial’s fleet of electric vehicles (EVs) in the School of Transportation.

“These vehicle donations are intended to help the college continue to provide education and training to apprentices in motive power trades, and more specifically, in current commercial electric vehicles and technologies,” says Steve Clark, Director, Fleet Services at Canada Post. “As our fleet evolves with advancing technologies, we recognize that our current and future technicians require skills and knowledge in these technologies that Centennial College continues to provide.”

The Navistar electric vans join several other EV acquisitions by the college, including an Orion hybrid city bus donated by the Toronto Transit Commission, a hybrid-fuel Ford C-Max automobile and a fully electric Chevrolet Bolt hatchback. Canada Post also will be donating two Ford Transit Connect electric vans in the near future. Together, the vehicles populate the school’s new Electric Vehicle Lab in the former hangar at Ashtonbee Campus (the college’s aircraft were moved to the all-new Bombardier Centre for Aerospace and Aviation at Downsview last year).

“Canada Post has been at the cutting edge of transportation technology. We have over 30 years of accumulated experience with electric vehicle propulsion and battery management systems, and have acquired a wealth of knowledge in this area,” says Clark, who along with colleague Barath Sockalingham, Manager, Vehicle Specifications, are graduates of Centennial’s School of Transportation.

“I attended Centennial College myself as an apprentice many years ago and today I continue working in an amazing career in fleet management,” Clark notes. “The learning never ends and I am grateful for the education and knowledge I received at Centennial in my initial apprenticeship and through continued education. I am always excited to see the advancements and investment made by the college and I’m really glad to see the EV Lab come to life.”