Elec­tric van use ris­ing in Europe

New Zealand LCV - - FOCUS ON INDUSTRY -

AN ELEC­TRIC DE­LIV­ERY VAN, DE­SIGNED AND MAN­U­fac­tured by Ger­man mail de­liv­ery com­pany, DHL, could be on sale to the gen­eral public from next year.

DHL has been us­ing its self-de­signed Streetscooter since 2013 as an all-elec­tric re­place­ment for its Volk­swa­gen Caddy vans. The Streetscooter is tai­lor-made to suit the needs of a de­liv­ery com­pany like DHL, es­pe­cially in ur­ban and last-mile op­er­a­tions. It has a 120km max­i­mum range and its cargo ca­pac­ity ri­vals that of a small to medium-sized de­liv­ery van. Af­ter its suc­cess­ful trial with DHL in Ger­many, the van’s cre­ator, Dr Gunter Schuch, plans to make it avail­able to the gen­eral public. Named the EGO Life, the public ver­sion of the ve­hi­cle will be aimed at small to medium busi­nesses with city cen­tre ap­pli­ca­tions and rel­a­tively short driv­ing dis­tances.

Schuch says there’s po­ten­tial to build 10,000 EGO Lifes a year.

Mean­while, global de­liv­ery gi­ant UPS is in­creas­ing the num­ber of elec­tric de­liv­ery trucks it uses in Lon­don, Eng­land, by 40 per­cent.

The move fol­lows an in­vest­ment in smart charg­ing in­fra­struc­ture in as­so­ci­a­tion with UK Power Net­works.

The project will in­cor­po­rate bat­tery en­ergy stor­age at UPS’ north Lon­don de­pot, so that charg­ing doesn’t put too much strain on the lo­cal power grid dur­ing peak times.

The ve­hi­cles will be charged di­rectly from the net­work out­side peak times, with the bat­tery tak­ing over the charg­ing when elec­tric­ity de­mand in­creases in the lo­cal area.

The up­grades will mean that up to 150 elec­tric ve­hi­cles can op­er­ate from the north Lon­don de­pot, three times the amount of UPS elec­tric trucks cur­rently op­er­at­ing in the city.

The 29 ad­di­tional elec­tric trucks, in UPS’ brown and gold liv­ery, will go into service be­fore the end of the year.

Ford is tri­alling a fleet of 20 plug-in hy­brid PHEV Tran­sit Cus­tom vans in Lon­don. The vans will be run purely on their elec­tric mo­tors for most city trips. The trial aims to dis­cover how PHEV vans can con­trib­ute to cleaner air in a heav­i­ly­con­gested city.

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