Monday, February 22, 2010

Smiths Supply Electric Vans For German Government Truck Assessment

Ten Edison Transits en route to Cologne
Shipping News Feature

UK – GERMANY – Smiths Electric Vehicles, part of the Tanfield Group are to send a fleet of their Edison vans, based on the Ford Transit, to the colognE-mobil project, a scheme aimed at assisting the German Government, who part fund the project, to meet their schedule of one million electric vehicles onto the country’s roads within ten years. Seven of the vehicles are destined to carry freight for a delivery service company with the others built as two shuttle buses and one chassis cab.

Ford of Europe will deliver the final vehicles to all these clients and is responsible for their technical maintenance and service during the project. Ford will also deploy a number of Ford Focus BEV electric passenger cars later in the project. The initiative will research the impact of electric vans and cars on urban air quality, traffic safety and electricity supply infrastructure. Scientists will then scale up the results to examine the true benefits an electric future could deliver for the German city.

The Smith Edison is a pure electric version of the Ford Transit van that is powered by leading edge lithium-ion batteries. Designed for urban operations, the vehicle delivers a range of up to 100 miles (160km) on a full charge and a top speed of 50mph (80km/h) Smith has produced Edison in collaboration with Ford since 2007 and we have followed their introduction into many diverse situations for some time.

ColognE-mobil brings together four separate partners, the Ford-Werke GmbH, RheinEnergie AG, the City of Cologne and the University of Duisburg-Essen (UDE)—in a project to test electrical mobility in all its aspects under everyday conditions.

Despite the high initial costs of such vans, the current cost of a deal such as the colognE-mobil one is around £500,000, the running costs of the vehicles and the reducing initial costs due to economies of scale and falling technology prices will mean electric vans may soon be the first choice for the urban delivery environment.