Econ electric gritter deal for Ringway

By Categories: NewsPublished On: Tuesday 23 January 2024

Econ Engineering’s fully elec­tric-powered gritter has secured a landmark contract, the firm re­ports, with UK highways special­ist Ringway signing up to take de­livery of the E-QCB (Electric Quick Change Body).

Claimed to be the first com­pletely electric vehicle of its kind on the market, it is said to utilise the latest sustainable technol­ogy without diminishing perfor­mance, helping customers cut their emissions footprint.

Winter maintenance and high­ways vehicles manufacturer Econ Engineering supplies gritters, hot boxes and tippers to hundreds of local councils and contractors across the UK.

The E-QCB 19-tonne Volvo FE Electric comes with a range of de­mountable body options includ­ing gritter, tipper and caged body, which can be switched within 15 minutes.

Ringway, which is responsi­ble for looking after more than 50,000 kilometres of the UK’s highways network, has a long-term strategic fleet partnership with Econ, and is the first con­tractor to sign up to a deal for the E-QCB.

“Designed with versatility in mind, the vehicle comes with alternative battery configura­tions to allow optimisation of range and payload, it can be fully charged in less than two hours (subject to infrastructure), runs near-silent with a range of up to 170 miles (depending on load and road conditions), and with no exhaust gases produced, can make deliveries in zero emission zones,” said Econ Engineering.

The company reports that the vehicle has been vigorously test­ed during a recent demonstra­tion tour around the UK, including on a cold, snowy day at Sutton Bank in North Yorkshire, where it undertook two 40-mile gritting runs. The route has a hill gradient of 1 in 4, and includes several tight bends.

A North Yorkshire Council spokesperson said: “The vehicle impressed us especially coping with the hills and had excellent range for an electric vehicle.”

The E-QCB was also used to lay sand across London’s streets in readiness for the King’s carriage as he attended the State Open­ing of Parliament. It travelled 66 miles in an urban environment and finished with 51 per cent bat­tery charge.

Dave Olley, operations man­ager at Ringway, said: “Ringway Hertfordshire is committed to delivering a sustainable service. Working with Econ Engineering we trialled the fully electric E-QCB multi-purpose vehicle and are now looking forward to adding it to our fleet and putting it to use on the UK’s road network.”

Jonathan Lupton, managing di­rector at Econ Engineering, add­ed: “We have spent a long time developing the E-QCB, undertak­ing comprehensive redesigns and trials across the UK, to ensure that we can offer a fully electric solution for our customers that can be used 52 weeks a year.”

Christian Coolsaet, managing director of Volvo Trucks UK & Ireland, said: “Every part of the transport sector needs to have its sights set on achieving net zero, and gritting and snowploughing is no exception. The team at Econ has developed an exceptional new product with our FE Electric chassis at its heart; this is going to allow gritter fleets to reap the benefits of operating cleaner, qui­eter and more efficient trucks.”