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Eneco Purchases 50 Smith Electric Vans

The Dutch energy company Eneco has signed contracts for the purchase of 50 Smith Ampere electric commercial vans, the electric version of the Ford Transit Connect, to be delivered in 2009 and 2010. The agreement is worth €2.3 million (US$3.4 million) and was concluded with All Green Vehicles in Maasland and Roteb Lease in Rotterdam.

The purchase is part of Eneco’s sustainable strategy to replace 500 of its diesel-fueled commercial vans (25% of its total commercial vehicle fleet) with electric versions within the next four years. Eneco last week announced a tender for 300 commercial vans as part of the large scale tender for electric vehicles by the Urgenda Foundation, together with front runners from the corporate and government sectors. The contract for the 50 Smith Amperes comes on top of this.

At the same time as this purchase, charge spots that supply green electricity will be installed at the Eneco business premises and at the homes of the employees who will be using the electric cars.

Eneco said it selected the Smith Ampere because it is a mature product and is readily available. The Ampere has a range of 160 km (99 miles) and a maximum speed of 120 km/h (75 mph). It uses a 21 kWh Lithium-ion phosphate battery pack combined with a 45 kW electric motor. Electricity consumption is 0.13kWh/km.

(A hat-tip to John!)



One more step in the right direction.

Henry Gibson

Tiny range extenders should be added to all these vehicles. ZEBRA batteries should be considered because they can be used for UPS systems after they are too week for automobiles. ..HG..

Nick Lyons

@HG: Range extenders are not needed for vehicles with known routes/duty cycles which are within the capacity of vehicle's ESS. Range anxiety is not an issue in these cases, and keeping the drivetrain simple is all to the good.

Bob Uppendown

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.


How much does a very small genset would really weight and cost? Honda makes very good ones at around $2K.

Reducing battery size by one or two KWh would more than pay for the genset and very small fuel tank.

It should not be a major problem to find room for a very small genset in (or attached to the roof) a delivery vehicle.

An on-board genset would be appreciated to run ancillary units and crawl out of heavy traffic jams.

Anyway, it could be an option that many buyers would gladly pay for.

Bob Uppendown

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.

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