Bus operator Go-Ahead London has taken delivery of its first Smith Edison vans, following a successful month-long trial of the technology.
Produced by Smith Electric Vehicles in Washington, Tyne & Wear, the vans are used as support vehicles to keep London’s bus fleet running and are a key element in Go-Ahead London’s environmental programme, ‘Go Green’.
Go-Ahead London, which already operates six hybrid diesel-electric buses, is to be the first bus company in London to operate electric support vehicles. The Smith Edison is a pure electric version of the Ford Transit van. Its lithium-ion batteries deliver top speed of 50mph, a range of up to 100 miles on a single charge and can be recharged from flat to full in 6-8 hours.
John Trayner, Go-Ahead London’s managing director, said: “We are committed to a cleaner, safer environment and to reducing our carbon footprint. The electric vans are simply another step towards this goal.”
The electric vans reduce Go-Ahead’s carbon footprint, are virtually noiseless when in use and have zero exhaust emissions, helping to improve urban air quality. The will be used for roadside assistance and for distributing spare parts around Go-Ahead London’s locations in the capital.
The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, has already recognised Go-Ahead London’s commitment to electric vans. The bus operator is one of a handful of pioneering companies helping the Mayor’s office to promote uptake of commercial electric vehicles in the capital.
Frank Thorpe, Business Development Manager, Go-Ahead London, said: “Go-Ahead are pleased to be working with the Mayor of London’s initiative to encourage the use and development of electric vehicles and we are committed to converting our entire bus support fleet in London to electric power as soon as possible.”
Go-Ahead London’s ‘Go Green’ campaign was officially launched earlier this year by Minister for Climate Change Joan Ruddock MP.
Smith produces the world's largest range of commercial electric vehicles, with Gross Vehicle Weights of between 2,300kg and 12,000kg. The vehicles deliver top speeds of up to 70mph, a proven range on one battery charge of 100 miles with proven payload capabilities.
These characteristics make the vehicles attractive for public and private sector fleet operators in large towns, cities and closed campus environments such as airports and military bases. Customers include TNT, DHL, Royal Mail, Sainsbury's Online and Balfour Beatty.
Smith has an unrivalled UK-wide service and support network, which already maintains over 5,000 vehicles for major fleet operators.
Smith is Ford of Europe's official collaborator for battery electric versions of the Ford Transit and Transit Connect vans. In North America, Ford has also chosen Smith Electric Vehicles US Corporation (SEV US Corp) to produce a battery electric version of the Ford Transit Connect, to go on sale through Ford dealers in 2010.
In the UK, Smith is one of three commercial electric vehicle suppliers shortlisted for the Department of Transport's Low Carbon Vehicle Procurement Programme. The programme funds public sector organisations in procuring innovative, lower carbon vehicles.