Operational trials are starting of an electric truck that could show the way forward for urban deliveries. TNT Express and Ceva Logistics (formerly TNT Logistics) are trialling the 7.5 tonner which they reckon is the first zero emission vehicle that can compete with a diesel in urban areas.
The truck, built by Smith Electric Vehicles, has a payload of about two tonnes, a top speed of 50 mph and range of about 130 miles. The TNT Express vehicle will operate from the Barking depot, while the Ceva model will be based at its Starbucks operation in Basildon. If the trial proves successful, TNT will consider adding 200 other zero emission vehicles to its fleet to serve in other urban locations in the UK.
The truck, called the “Newton” is powered by four large Zebra 278v batteries on the underside. Fully charged, the vehicle has a range of 130 miles.
It can be re-charged on board or through domestic mains or a standard three-phase socket. The Newton is exempt from the London congestion charge – approximately £1,750 a year and incurs no road tax. It costs about £25 a week to recharge the battery as opposed to £110 spent on fuel for a diesel vehicle.