The first demonstrator is a 3.5-tonne Daily panel van; the developers believe this is the only hybrid product available in Europe to cover the Daily range from 3.5 to 7.2 tonnes gvw, in both van and chassis cab variants.
The Euro VI diesel engine removes range anxiety for drivers, say the companies, while its pure electric mode – called EV mode – gives a minimum zero-emission range of 30 miles at up to 50mph, thanks to a 20kWh battery pack.
As a plug-in hybrid, primary battery charging is carried out during vehicle downtime, but the vehicle can also recharge batteries while on the move.
The vehicle’s hybrid control unit co-ordinates the use of the electric motor with the diesel engine, allowing drivers to switch between power sources. On-board technology uses GPS geo-fencing to detect when the vehicle is entering a ‘green’ zone and can automatically switch to pure electric mode.
John Chadderton, director at Astra Vehicle Technologies, says: “We are excited to have delivered the UK’s first hybrid IVECO Daily, to the stage where it will be trialled by companies who are keen to pursue reductions in their carbon footprint.
“This intelligent and highly efficient vehicle will give operators the best of both worlds, removing the range anxiety of fully electric vehicles while bringing significant overall fuel and environmental benefits in the electric vehicle and hybrid modes of operation.”
Nick Pemberton, director at Sherwood Truck and Van, says the company is also planning to offer full-electric conversions of the Daily range, but in the meantime, “we are looking forward to seeing what customers think and what feedback we get about the hybrid version”.