Electric vehicles coming in all shapes and sizes21 April 2010

Electric trucks are slowly gaining ground, as more variants are built by more manufacturers for more operations at ever larger sizes – and operators see some potential.

The latest are two new vehicles from Smith Electric Vehicles, based on its award-winning Smith Edison van, which launched the units at the CV Operator Show.

One is the UK's first 17 seat, all-electric minibus; the other is another UK first – a fully electric vehicle-with electrically operated van-mounted aerial work platform.

Smith says its Edison electric minibus is now in production, based on the Ford Transit Jumbo chassis, and offering a top speed of 50mph with a range of 80 miles.

The company has used an under-slung battery design, so that the 40 kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack does not intrude on the passenger area of the vehicle.

But aside from the vehicle itself, Smith pointed to the battery recharge time, which, although normally taking six to eight hours, is now complete in three to four hours, using Smith's new fast charging technology.

As for the electric truck and electric aerial lifter combination, the unit on show has been bought by Scottish & Southern Energy (SSE), for trials in its service and maintenance fleet.

The 4,600kg gvw vehicle uses the Smith Edison long wheelbase electric van chassis cab, with a lift mechanism from Versalift – all powered by the 40kwh lithium-ion battery pack.

Brian Tinham

Related Companies
Smith Technologies Ltd

This material is protected by MA Business copyright
See Terms and Conditions.
One-off usage is permitted but bulk copying is not.
For multiple copies contact the sales team.