Bunzl’s green distribution drive leads to Smith electric truck hire04 March 2010
Truck contract hire firm Ryder has delivered its first leased 10 tonne electric truck to Bunzl, the distribution group, for operation in the catering sector, in the central London area.
Bruce Howard, Ryder's contract hire director, explains that the Smiths Newton truck is ideal for stop-start work – in this case with a maximum range of approx 80 miles.
In fact, trials with a demonstrator convinced Bunzl that the truck – which is now based at its Charlton branch – will run for up to three days per single charge on its normal delivery routes around the capital.
"We've been supplying vans and trucks to all five divisions of Bunzl since 2007, and currently supply more than 200 contract hire vehicles to their national locations," comments Howard.
"The supply of our first zero emission electric contract hire truck is part of our plan to supply Bunzl with the most environmentally friendly vehicles available," he adds.
Max Harris, Bunzl's operations and field sales director, says the new truck is part of Bunzl's Sustainable Distribution Initiative.
"We have already fitted wind deflectors to every vehicle, which gave us a 5—8% reduction in fuel consumption, and we have also introduced aerodynamic double-deck trailers, which took the equivalent of two articulated 38 tonne vehicles off the road," explains Harris.
"We have also conducted trials with LPG, but found the engines underpowered. We even investigated the viability of bio-diesel, but concluded it is not sustainable as a long term proposition for light goods vehicles," he adds.
"So, we've focussed on electric motive power units. The first truck will operate in London and, should the reliability meet expectations, we will be launching further electric LGVs in cities across the UK in 2011."
Smith Technologies Ltd
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