The electric vehicle is running between 100-160 miles a day on Welch’s network radial work, double running to achieve the higher mileages with a scheduled charge in the middle of the day. Welch’s Transport worked with Renault Trucks commercial partner, Allports Group, to install a 150kw supercharger on site, to enable the vehicle to triple run across a 24-hour period and to speed up the installation of charging infrastructure in the region.
Director Chris Welch, said: “The arrival of our new electric Renault Trucks E-Tech D Wide will help the City Council and businesses in the city centre realise their Net Zero climate ambitions. Multi-national transport and logistics companies must account for vehicle range and available charging infrastructure when plotting out electric vehicle routes for cities like Cambridge, and we are ideally positioned to integrate fully electric vehicles into our fleet due to the prime location depot in Duxford and our newly installed charging station.”
The E-Tech D Wide features a Bevans curtainside body and Dhollandia 2 tonne slider taillift and is powered by 265 kWh E-Tech traction batteries with four battery packs of 66kW each located in the wheelbase. The E-Tech also features a five-year subscription to Renault Trucks’ Optifleet telematics system and benefits from a repair and maintenance contract.
Welch added: “We’re also using the E-Tech to trial Renault Trucks’ Optifleet which gives us additional information on electrical performance and usage, enabling us to understand what the vehicle is capable of and the need to track mpkwh over mpg.”
Welch’s Transport’s operation runs two pallet networks, Palletline and Hazchem, with 15 rigids running radial local miles suitable for battery electric vehicle (BEV) transition. Welch explained: “We worked with the Energy Saving Trust at the end of 2022 where they undertook an electrification study of our main depot assessing the whole fleet transition to EV, the mileage milestones needed for the different vehicle classes, the site’s power and charging infrastructure as well as other steps to help us to move towards Net Zero long before 2050. Transitioning to electric also gives us access to emerging final mile delivery markets that BEV is very suited to.”
More broadly, the company is aiming to switch its parts, pool and technician vans in its truck centre to electric in the future.
Welch concluded: “We are aiming to drive electrification of the local supply chain by providing urban consolidation services and last mile to Greater Cambridge through fully electric vehicles. We are also working with Renault Trucks’ LCV Division, trialling the E-Tech Master OptiModale van and Freegônes e-cargo bike to tackle the “last metre” and HGV last mile deliveries. Our aim is to start with trials in Q4 with potential consolidation zones in Cambridge and then deploy an additional number of LCVs and HGVs in 2024.”