Iveco has launched an electric version of its Daily van which it says it suited to urban short-distance journeys and door-to-door deliveries. It also qualifies for a 100 per cent discount from London’s Congestion Charge.
The EcoDaily Electric van and chassis cab come in 3.5 and 5.2 tonne models.
Real-life trials have shown the vehicles to have an effective range of between 55 and 80 miles, depending on the number of batteries and the vehicle’s application.
The maximum road speed is electronically limited to 45 mph, although this can be set to a lower level to further improve the range.
Prices start from £40,000, with the batteries available to lease separately. Prices for the vehicle and batteries combined start from £63,000.
The EcoDaily Electric has a three-phase motor controlled through a DC/AC inverter to provide effortless driving and range-extending regenerative braking (in a similar way to the Formula 1 KERS system). Power comes from advanced NaNiCl2 battery technology, which can be fully recharged in eight hours from any normal 32-amp 415-V three-phase socket. The power output is 30kW continuous (60kW peak) for 3.5 tonne models and 40kW continuous (80kW peak) for 5.2 tonne models, which is sufficient to pull away on gradients of up to 16 per cent when fully laden.
Power is provided by Zebra Z5 traction batteries which are fully sealed and do not produce gaseous emissions or require maintenance. The batteries are also fully recyclable.
Martin Flach, product director of Iveco UK, says: “Iveco has invested heavily in alternative fuel technology since the mid-1990s. As a direct result, we offer the largest selection of low-carbon commercial vehicles available in Europe, with the EcoDaily Electric joining natural gas variants of our EcoDaily, Eurocargo and Stralis, together with an innovative hybrid Eurocargo.”
Iveco has been developing a two tier strategy for low carbon vehicles with investment in alternative fuels as well as continued development of diesel technology.
As well as electric vehicles, Iveco has been developing compressed natural gas (CNG) versions of the EcoDaily, Eurocargo and Stralis which will also run on compressed biomethane (CBM) – a commercially competitive and environmentally sound fuel that can be directly substituted for natural gas.
It is also conducting vehicle trials with hydro-methane, a mixture of natural gas with 30 per cent hydrogen which offers further reductions in CO2 emissions.
Hybrid technology is also being developed – notably the Eurocargo hybrid. This is available at 7.5 and 12 tonnes, and uses a diesel-electric parallel hybrid driveline, making it possible to carry out multi-drop distribution in towns and cities without sacrificing high-speed performance on motorways.