90 years of low carbon commercial vehicles at the CV Operator Show12 March 2010

To celebrate nine decades of making low carbon commercial vehicles, Smith Electric Vehicles has taken one of the largest stands at the Commercial Vehicle Operator Show (13-15 April), to make space for it range of electric vans and minibuses.

The Smith Edison, based on a range of Ford Transit chassis – including 3.5t and 4.6t medium and high roof panel van, as well as a 3.5t and 4.6t chassis cab – was launched at the CV Show in 2007, in collaboration with Ford of Europe.

Today's model has a range of 100 miles and a top speed of 50mph, and is aimed at return-to-base, urban operations. Bodies available include box, refrigerated, tipper and dropsied, and Smith says that its lithium-ion batteries can now be fast-charged from flat to fully charged in just three hours.

They are slowly gaining in popularity: Sainsbury's Online, for example, is expanding its EV fleet with an additional 51 Smith Edisons, taking its fleet to 71 electric vans. Other fleets dabbling in the Edison include Royal Mail, TNT, Western Power, Sita, Serco and the Government Car & Despatch Agency.

Meanwhile, watch out for the Smith Newton at the CV Operator Show. It's officially the world's largest road-going electric truck, with a range of up to 120 miles and a top speed of 50mph.

The Newton is available in 7.5t, 10t and 12t gvw configurations, and is in use with fleets including TNT, DHL, Balfour Beatty and TK Maxx.

Brian Tinham

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