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UK Grounds Maintenance Company Contracts for Four Ford-Smith Electric Vehicles Light Commercial EVs

Poole, UK-based Continental Landscapes has contracted for four battery-electric Ford Transit-based light commercial vehicles from Carillon Fleet Management: two 4.6-tonne Ford Transit beaver tail and two 3.5-tonne tippers.

Carillion Fleet Management is one of only a few companies willing to underwrite electric vehicles on behalf of its customers, and has supplied the four vans on a seven-year contract hire with maintenance agreement.

The Ford Transit vans have been specially adapted by UK specialists Smith Electric Vehicles. Powered solely by a Li-ion iron phosphate battery pack from Valence, they offer a range of up to 100 miles on a full charge and zero tailpipe emissions, plus lower running costs than conventional fossil fuels.

A 90 kW induction motor delivers a top speed of up to 50 mph.

The tippers are expected to cover around 5,000 miles per year transporting tools and materials, while the beaver tails will carry heavier machinery such as drive-on mowers to site locations.

Ford and Smith announced a collaboration on all-electric light commercial vehicles in 2008. (Earlier post.)


Bob Uppendown

Judging by the Case Studies page on the Smith website there are lots of other fleet customers who have reached the same conclusion about the usefulness of these electric trucks. One of them - parcel delivery company TNT Express - has bought 150 of Smith's trucks and vans, mostly the bigger 7.5 ton Smith Newton. Hardheaded fleet managers don't make that kind of decision just to score green credibility points! They must have concluded that the case stacks up OK on grounds of cost and practicality.


Well bob its very different for a fleet owner like that.

You will note they expect only about 5000 miles of use per year.. Thats only 20 miles a day vastly under the 100 mile max range of the trucks. This means the battery can be used for MUCH longer before it needs replacing.

Also a truck doesnt need to outrun anouther truck while merging and it can also avoid any hills/mountains and doesnt need to go full speed even on the freeway.

Also a far larger cost for fleet owners is maintenance. A truck engine costs alot to replace and you bet a truck transmission is spendy too.. thats why most trucks have realy poorly working engines and transmissions they cost too much to keep well running.

A motor on the other hand is far cheaper to deal with.

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