Due to their recent appointment to Westminster, SMMT have found themselves with fashionable floor space at the chambers’ heart. What better place for them – and the government – to showcase the electric vans that are supposed to be bringing us cost savings on everything from the retail price, to (substantially) fuel and cheap van insurance?
Despite the lack of popularity for the electric vans and the country being offered bungs for incorporating them into their range, SMMT have decided to parade three of the brands that appear on the government’s shortlist for those manufacturers and models that can claim up to £8,000 off the list price. Mmm, nice!
zWeb is a unique feature of Peugeot’s eBipper, the petrol/diesel model transmigrated into an electric van by Allied Electric. The zWeb literally is an eye in the sky as it monitors an engine’s performance from a distance; its technology even assesses each battery cell for charge and temperature so that the battery delivers optimum performance, adjusting energy input to suit the driving conditions.
Many larger organisations are turning to fleet management power houses in an attempt to deliver cost savings on fuel, wear and tear and thus reduce van insurance premiums; the zWeb, in effect, is doing just that through this intuitive software.
The Smith Edison, by Smith Electrical Vehicles, goes to the other end of the spectrum. From the compact Bipper, we see how electric vans can cope in larger models through Smith’s chassis cab, based on the best-selling Ford Transit. As well as showing that size needn’t be a stumbling block for battery-powered vans, this model shows diversity, too.
The chassis cab, being the variation on show at the SMMT Westminster exhibition, comes as a minibus, for carrying crew to and from site, adaptable chassis and the classic panel van, and also offers a spectrum of weight classes, from 3.5 to 4.6 ton (gvw). The chassis variation permits all the versatility you would expect, allowing the back end to be modified for the specific use the businessman has in mind, whether that is delivering refrigerated and frozen food stuffs, box wagon, flat bed with drop side or even a tipper van for loose loads for construction or rubbish.
Smith Edison has really looked into what is holding consumers back from opting for electric vans, cheap van insurance notwithstanding, with additional features that will make the transition smooth and painless. More tomorrow when we look at what those improvements to battery life mean in real terms and will look at the Azure Dynamics’ Transit Connect, another electric van based around the old Ford classic.