It may have been a year later than originally intended, but the ITT Hub exhibition and Future Logistics Conference finally took place at the beginning of the month, at the Farnborough International centre. With a good selection of van, truck and bus manufacturers, along with key sector suppliers, the event offered a first chance for many to see the latest vehicles, and even to get behind the wheel on a short test route.
Visitors to the show were rewarded by several first appearances, including the international unveiling of DAF’s next generation XF and XG tractors, the Mercedes-Benz eActros electric truck, Fiat Professional’s E-Ducato and hydrogen and electric buses from Wrightbus and BYD.
Fiat’s E-Ducato vans will start to arrive in UK dealers within the next few weeks. Demonstration models will come first, with customer orders following later in the year. While there is concern among many manufacturers over the delivery of new vehicles, Fiat Professional’s director Richard Chamberlain says that the firm has secured plentiful supply of the electric vans, for the remainder of this year and through 2022.
E-Ducato will be available in a wide range of panel van and chassis cab models, mirroring the diesel-powered offer. Though there is huge demand for the chassis cab models, for conversion to suit numerous industry sectors, panel vans will probably make up much of the early orders. This is to meet demand from last-mile delivery businesses, but also due to the fact that conversions will have to undergo WLTP testing once built, to gain OZEV grant approval, which will delay their arrival with customers.
Both of the Maxus electric vans were on show, through three local dealers, with the eDeliver 3 boasting a fridge conversion. This included a Thermo King B100 unit powered by the van’s 12V auxiliary battery, having no effect on the traction battery range.
Companies looking for additional payload will be pleased to see the arrival of the first 3.5-tonne Master Z.E. vans and chassis at Renault Trucks. Initially launched as a 3.1-tonne model, Master Z.E. is also now being offered at the higher grow weight, boosting carrying capacity. The 3.5-tonne models use the same 33kWh battery pack and 57kW drive motor, offering a driving range of up to 75 miles. Master Z.E. is offered in eight versions, including three body lengths and two heights as a panel van and in various chassis cab layouts.
The company has also introduced its first electric trucks. Renault is offering the D Z.E range on two axles, up to 18-tonnes, with 200kWh or 300kWh battery packs. Driving through a 185kW motor, this gives the delivery trucks a potential range of up to 186 miles. The company has also launched the D Wide Z.E. on three axles. Using the 200kWh battery pack, these 26-tonne trucks are primarily intended for refuse collection, offering a range of up to 75 miles.
While the giant XG+ tractor unit was grabbing much of the attention on the DAF Trucks stand, having been launched the previous week, those looking at future technology were also catered for. DAF showed both its LF Electric and CF Electric truck lines at the show. The LF Electric was shown as a 19-tonne rigid truck, while the CF Electric was offered as a 4×2 tractor. The CF can also be ordered as a 6×2 rigid chassis.
The LF Electric has a 260kW motor, powered by a lithium iron phosphate battery developing 282kWh. DAF claims a potential range of 173 miles and potential payload of up to 11,700kg, which should suit most urban delivery applications. The CF Electric trucks have a 350kWh battery, with a single charge offering up to 136 miles. The compact tractor is again intended for local urban deliveries, while the 6×2 rigid has been designed for refuse truck use as well as urban delivery.
For those last-mile delivery companies looking for a smaller vehicle than the latest electric trucks and vans, Oxfordshire firm EAV was offering visitors the chance to get to grips with its 2Cubed eCargo vehicle. Bridging the gap between a cargo bike and a van, the 2Cubed offers a 2.0m3 load box, that can be supplied with a single rear door, barn doors or a roller shutter. You also get adjustable height shelving, automotive specification real lights, including indicators and brake lights.