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Bob Uppendown
near the coast
Interests: Business stories. smallscale stockmarket trading. electric vehicles. doing up houses and gardens. and being at the water's edge, be it river, lake or sea.
Recent Activity
Ford already have Transit EVs in use for the past 2 years in the UK and mainland Europe. They are called the Smith Edison and examples can be seen on the Case Studies page of the Smith website at http://www.smithelectricvehicles.com Why do they need a third year and fourth year of ongoing trials? The UK's third biggest supermarket group, Sainsbury's, have been using 20 of them in London and recently ordered 51 more.
"...Batteries will probably never be cheap enough to create an all-electric version of something as heavy as a working truck..." Check out the Case Studies page at http://www.SmithElectricVehicles.com Plenty of fleet managers are already half convinced that in lifetime comparisons (say 5 year fleet renewal) the savings on maintenance and fuel are already not far from making economic sense, even with trucks costing twice the price of a diesel truck. Batteries are currently very expensive - but to declare they'll probably never be cheap enough is far too extreme a view in my opinion. Check out also Smith's US company at sev-us.com Several examples exist of all-electric F-150 trucks..
"...their electric wheel design that incorporates engine, brakes, regenerative braking and regenerative shock absorber all in one component.." Crikey. It's bad enough returning to a carpark and finding you've had 4 wheels and tyres nicked and the car is jacked up on bricks. Gonna be a huge market when wheels are that much more valuable :-O
But it just ain't needed in this particular market - where zero-emissions is a perfectly practical choice. So why add any exhaust fumes at all? Sounds to me like an unnecessary step backwards - appealing only to people who cannot bear to relinquish combustion engines ;o) Logistics company TNT, who have so far bought 150 of the bigger Smith Newton (7.5ton) delivery trucks, now operate them from 23 depots across the UK and two in Holland. They haven't shown any interest in wanting to carry generators around with them.
HG - Afraid I agree with Nick. The added weight, cost and complexities of a combustion engine are totally unnecessary in this particular market. Smith (and their main peers) are specifically targetting the depot-based delivery/service fleets, for whom range is not an issue - and neither is the absence of a recharging network. These are fleets which operate on known routes, covering typically 20-60 miles per day, and always returning to base. Every postal delivery service worldwide fits this category - and that's a huge market in its own right.