RIGHT FOR TIGHT

GROW­ING NEED FOR SMALL ELEC­TRIC UTIL­ITY VE­HI­CLES

Mt Druitt - St Mary's Standard (East) - - CARS GUIDE - Peter Barn­well More in­for­ma­tion at ve­hi­clee­col­ogy.com.au

DRIVE in Europe and you quickly gain an ap­pre­ci­a­tion of driv­ing on nar­row roads in tight sit­u­a­tions.

They did af­ter all build it to suit the horse and cart.

It makes ac­cess to towns and cities dif­fi­cult at the best of times and has lead to the pro­lif­er­a­tion of small ve­hi­cles for pas­sen­ger trans­porta­tion and for ser­vice/de­liv­er­ies. Big trucks are a no no.

CON­GES­TION

THE is­sue is start­ing to im­pact here too, par­tic­u­larly in the cap­i­tal cities with con­ges­tion added into the mix.

To fa­cil­i­tate ser­vice and de­liv­er­ies in a tight city en­vi­ron­ment, Ital­ian man­u­fac­turer Alke pro­duces a range of small elec­tric trucks.

They come in nu­mer­ous con­fig­u­ra­tions ca­pa­ble of per­form­ing many func­tions such as street clean­ing, garbage col­lec­tion, goods de­liv­er­ies and plenty more – the per­fect small util­ity truck for a 21st cen­tury big city coun­cil.

And they’re avail­able here through a com­pany called Ve­hi­cle Ecol­ogy based in Vic­to­ria.

Com­pany owner Chris McIn­tyre says he saw a grow­ing need for a small elec­tric util­ity ve­hi­cle and took the plunge to be­gin im­port­ing them from Alke.

``They are prov­ing very pop­u­lar and de­mand is gain­ing mo­men­tum as word spreads,’’ he said.

“With city speed lim­its now pretty much at 40kmh, low speed, cheap-to-run and re­li­able util­ity ve­hi­cles such as th­ese re­ally come into their own.’’

LINE-UP

FOUR mod­els are avail­able in vary­ing load con­fig­u­ra­tions (even a tip­per) start­ing from about $40,000 and all are full elec­tric ve­hi­cles you plug in for recharg­ing. All have re­gen­er­a­tive brak­ing to ex­tend the driv­ing range and ei­ther lead acid or lithium ion bat­ter­ies are fit­ted de­pend­ing on buyer choice. So­lar recharg­ing is also avail­able.

Spe­cific cus­tomi­sa­tions are avail­able for large fleets.

The op­er­a­tional range de­pends on use but Alke ve­hi­cles will gen­er­ally go 150km on a charge or “work” for eight to 10 hours be­fore recharg­ing is needed.

Tesla lux­ury cars was in­stru­men­tal in the de­sign and de­vel­op­ment of Alke ve­hi­cles, which fea­ture plenty of use­ful tech­nol­ogy and ro­bust en­gi­neer­ing.

The Alke XT se­ries is avail­able in two wheel­bases with cargo floors of 220mm and 270mm. Flatbed load ca­pac­ity is up to 1300kg, with a tow­ing ca­pac­ity up to 4000kg.

Both 2WD (rear) and 4WD (per­ma­nent) is avail­able.

Two mod­els are ca­pa­ble of speeds up to 140km/h with the larger ca­pac­ity 26kWh bat­tery while the other two will do 58km/h.

The recharge cy­cle is about eight to 12 hours.

Power goes to the wheels through di­rect drive, for­wards and back­wards.

Torque (pulling power) is equiv­a­lent to a 1.6 litre turbo diesel en­gine and is rated at 250Nm.

FEA­TURES

THE chas­sis is a steel back­bone unit with a form of com­pos­ite body on top form­ing the cabin which fea­tures air con­di­tion­ing, elec­tric power steer­ing, re­mote cen­tral lock­ing, elec­tric win­dows, sev­eninch dig­i­tal dis­play screen.

Nu­mer­ous op­tions are avail­able while ad­justable air sus­pen­sion is stan­dard across the model range.

Chris McIn­tyre says he has found the Alkes re­quire nearly zero main­te­nance and have proven to be to­tally re­li­able in the work­ing en­vi­ron­ment.

Sim­pli­fy­ing ser­vice re­quire­ments is a data log­ging sys­tem that com­mu­ni­cates op­er­a­tional in­for­ma­tion di­rect to Ve­hi­cle Ecol­ogy.

Tesla lux­ury cars was in­stru­men­tal in the de­sign and de­vel­op­ment of Alke ve­hi­cles, which fea­ture plenty of use­ful tech­nol­ogy and ro­bust en­gi­neer­ing.

Alke pro­duces a range of small elec­tric trucks.

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