Gas supplier goes electric20 May 2020

Gas supplier Calor is delivering its bottled butane and propane to customers in central London using a battery-powered Fuso eCanter.

The 7.5t truck is based at Calor’s depot in Wandsworth, south-west London, and spends much of its time working inside the city’s Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ).

The vehicle has a body and payload allowance of up to 4.5 tonnes. Its electric drivetrain with permanent-magnet motor employs six 420 V and 13.8 kWh lithium-ion batteries, and delivers 129 kW (177.5bhp) via a single-gear transmission in the rear axle.

The company’s national vehicle engineering manager Alan Harrison said: “Electric power is a new departure for us, so of course we’ll be monitoring the truck very closely. The environmental benefits are clear, but we are also expecting the eCanter to prove highly economical in terms of its total cost of operation. The early signs are certainly promising.”

An overnight charge gives the eCanter an effective operating range of more than 62 miles (100 km); Calor’s vehicle typically covers 30 miles a day.

Calor’s eCanter is fitted with a dropside body with safety rails, by SB Components, of Wisbech. Typically, it leaves the depot each morning carrying a 2,370 kg load, and remains heavily laden throughout the day, as the driver collects empty gas bottles each time he drops off full ones.

The first 10 eCanters were delivered to three UK operators in 2018, with a further six – including Calor’s – supplied to other customers late last year.

William Dalrymple

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