A-Plant, one of the United Kingdom’s leading rental companies, is introducing a high-performance electric van into its delivery fleet. The Edison, designed and built by Smith Electric Vehicles, is based on the Ford Transit body shell but is 100-percent battery powered. The A-Plant model has a 90-kw motor, with a top speed of 50 miles per hour, with two suitcase-sized sodium nickel chloride batteries ranging up to 100 miles per charge.
A-Plant has purchased its first Edison for trials in its rental delivery fleet in London. The test vehicle is part of A-Plant’s commitment to reduce emissions from its delivery fleet. Designed for intra-city applications, the Smith Edison is the only performance electric vehicle with a gross vehicle weight of less than 3,500kg.
Smith Electric Vehicles, owned by Tanfield Group Plc, which also owns aerial work platform manufacturers UpRight and Snorkel, manufactures a range of electric vans and trucks, including Newton, the world’s largest battery-powered truck.
“A-Plant is dedicated to examining every opportunity to reduce its carbon footprint,” said Shaun Winstanley, director of transport for A-Plant. “Electric vehicles such as the Smith Edison have the potential to significantly lower the environmental impact of our equipment deliveries and collections, while also providing a benefit to our bottom line.”
As a pure electric vehicle, the Edison qualifies for free Road Fund License and exemption from the London Congestion Charge, plus lower fuel and maintenance costs.
“Taken over a typical five-year vehicle life, our vehicles are considerably cheaper than the diesel equivalent,” said Kevin Harkin, sales director of Smith Electric Vehicles. “This calculation is based on diesel prices at the pump remaining stable, which is not going to happen. Every time oil prices increase, our electric vehicles become a more attractive proposition to commercial fleet operators.”
A-Plant is a subsidiary of Ashtead Plc.