Thursday 27th Oct 2016 - Logistics Manager

Smith launches first electric vehicles on continent




Smith Electric Vehicles has launched its first delivery vehicles for mainland Europe. The Sunderland based company has unveiled left hand drive versions of the Newton all-electric truck and Edison electric van.
TNT bought the vehicles for trials in Rotterdam, Holland, and plans to roll out Smith vehicles across its European fleet.
Peter Bakker, chief executive of TNT, said: “Protecting the environment makes business sense, as our stakeholders are increasingly evaluating us on our environmental impact. TNT foresees electric vehicles will become a key component for future super-urbanised inner city pick up and delivery networks as more and more restrictions are imposed on emissions in urbanised areas.”
TNT will run the vehicles on electricity from a 100 per cent renewable source, leaving no carbon footprint.
Both vehicles are powered by sodium nickel chloride batteries and an electric motor – 90 kilowatts for the Edison and 120kw for the Newton.
The Edison vehicle is 3,500kg with a Ford Transit body shell. It has a long wheelbase and high roof for carrying capacity. It’s a three battery model with a top speed of 50mph and a range of up to 150 miles on one battery charge and a payload of 880kg.
The Newton is powered by six batteries and has a payload of 3,000kg, also with a top speed of 50mph and a range one charge of up to 130 miles.
The Mayor of Rotterdam and chairman of the city’s Climate Initiative, Ivo Opstelten, said: “This is an excellent example of how innovative entrepreneurship combines environmental profit with economic profit.”
The vehicles are significantly more expensive than the diesel equivalent, but Kevin Harkin, sales director at Smith’s points out that they are much cheaper to run. The maintenance costs are also lower as electric vehicles only have four moving parts, compared to more than 1,000 in a diesel vehicle’s drive train.