Thursday 4 June 2020

Iveco launches glider truck for electric conversion

Iveco has commenced production of driveline-less Eurocargo ‘glider’ chassis for conversion into all-electric urban distribution trucks by Electra Commercial Vehicles of Blackburn.

Sid Sadique, chairman of Electra and NRG Fleet Services, said the Eurocargo is perfectly suited to electrification and offers maximum bodybuilding flexibility. Electra commercial vehicles can operate on clean electric power, with zero tailpipe emissions and very low noise.

He said: “We have received a lot of interest from customers because the Eurocargo has such wide appeal in the market. It’s a truck most fleets and bodybuilders are already familiar with, and is perfect for everything from dry and temperature-controlled multi-drop urban distribution, to highways maintenance and even refuse collection applications.”

An electric traction motor delivers up to 350kW of peak power and 3,400Nm of peak torque, or continuous power of 260kW and 2,060Nm of torque. Electra offers customers a choice of mission-specific lithium iron phosphate batteries, with options including 140 kWh, 205 kWh, 225 kWh and 287 kWh – giving vehicles an extended working range suitable for most urban applications.

The recharging time for a 205kWh vehicle is approximately five hours at 44kW, enabling operators to comfortably recharge the vehicle in between shifts.

Sascha Kaehne, business director of Iveco UK & Ireland said: “Electra saw the potential for taking one of the most popular medium trucks on UK roads and adding it to its range. Our teams have worked closely in partnership to develop the Eurocargo for electrification, and the finished product directly supports our sustainability goals. It also complements our newly formed partnership with Nikola, and the planned September 2020 launch of the Nikola Tre – our first battery electric heavy truck” (Transport Operator, 87).

One of the first vehicles to enter operation from the collaboration is an Electra SEIV 19-350, built on a 4×2 rigid Eurocargo chassis plated at 19 tonnes and with a Paneltex temperature controlled box body. This demonstrator, developed with Iveco dealer Guest Truck & Van, has been followed by a second Electra SEIV 19-350 equipped with a Bucher Municipal Phoenix salt spreader body and Bucher Municipal snowplough with electro-hydraulic control pack – built on a 3,890 mm wheelbase with a 205 kWh battery pack and dual 22 kW on-board chargers.

Total unladen weight is just 10,300 kg, including the chassis, batteries, electric traction motor and all ancillary equipment. With derogation allowing for up to a tonne of extra weight for the alternative fuel driveline, this means a 19-tonne model has only a 360 kg loss of payload compared to a standard 18-tonne diesel-powered equivalent.

Commenting on future orders, Sid Sadique concluded: “Since adding the Eurocargo to our range interest has spiralled and we literally can’t build them quickly enough. This is the perfect medium weight truck for city deliveries and we’re confident we’ve created a game-changing commercial vehicle fit for the future.”

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