Fleets should lead EV adoption

North America’s Fleet Owner magazine reports that FedEx chairman Fredrick Smith thinks fleets could have 200,000 electric vehicles in service by 2015.  This would give the volume to bring down prices and make electric vehicles “broadly practical,” according to a new report from US Electrification Coalition, a group started in 2009 to promote development of electric vehicles.  “With advances in battery technology promising to cut initial capital costs for EVs, fleet operating characteristics could offer “per-mile costs that are 70% to 80% less than current [internal combustion vehicle] costs,” said Smith.
More from www.fleetowner.com

Wilcox wins Logistics and Transport Journalist of the Year

David Wilcox has won the title Logistics and Transport Journalist of the Year in the annual awards scheme run by the UK’s 20,000-member Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport.  HRH The Princess Royal presented the award to Wilcox at the CILT (UK) 2010 awards ceremony in London in October.  He is editor of Commercial Vehicle Engineer, the online monthly for transport engineers and fleet managers, available at www.cvengineer.com.  Wilcox’s winning entry included incisive coverage of Vosa’s controversial creation of “authorised testing facilities” and a piece showing how van buyers can be misled by the load volumes quoted by manufacturers.
More from Tim Blakemore on + (0)1 428 605 605 or tim@cvengineer.com

Bus services after the Spending Review

The UK Parliament’s Transport Committee plans to inquire into the funding of English bus services outside London after the Comprehensive Spending Review.  It wants evidence on the effects of the cut in the Bus Service Operators’ Grant and the cut in local authority cash for bus services.  It also wants to know more about the implications of free off-peak travel for the elderly and disabled on local English buses.  If you have views on these and the use of passenger feedback in planning bus services and on the role of Passenger Focus, it would like to hear from you, in writing by Tuesday 4 January 2011.
More from Hannah Pearce on +44 (0)2 072 198 430 or hannahmpearce@parliament.uk

Be a patriot, buy a Mack

Transport Topics reports that Mack Trucks aims to hike heavy truck sales.  The Volvo subsidiary is urging its dealers to sell more Pinnacle highway tractors as well as the firm’s traditional specialist or vocational modes.  Mack aims to promote its new ClearTech SCR engines, M-Drive transmissions and use a “Made in the USA” appeal to economic patriotism.
More from www.ttnews.com

Toyota delivers its 20 millionth vehicle in Europe

Toyota says it has delivered its 20 millionth vehicle in Europe, ten years after its ten millionth sale here.  The firm entered the European market “in a modest way” in 1963, selling 190 Crown models to a Danish distributor.  Now it is one of Europe’s leading auto makers, with nine production plants across the continent making vehicles, engines and transmissions.  It also has European research and development, design and training centres.  Its European spending stands at €1.2bn and it employs around 3,000 people.  The milestone vehicle was a Turkish-built Toyota Verso 2.0 D-4D.
More from Richard Seymour on +44 (0)1 737 367 272 or richard.seymour@tgb.toyota.co.uk

Vivaro takes Luton to 750,000

Vauxhall’s Luton plant just built its 750,000th Vivaro-type van.  The Vivaro is a joint venture between Vauxhall and Renault, dating from 2001.  The factory produces all European low-roof Vivaro versions for Vauxhall and Opel, as well as the equivalent Renault models.  The firm is the UK’s biggest builder of commercial vehicles and its Luton plant has made over 60,000 this year.  It, and associated firms employ 1,500 people locally in the area.  Vauxhall also builds Astravans at Ellesmere Port, Cheshire.  The ‘milestone’ Vivaro went to Burnt Tree Vehicle Rental.
More from Justin Hawkins on +44 (0)1 582 427 617 or justin.hawkins@vauxhall.co.uk

Electric van for Liverpool Council

Liverpool City Council just bought a Smith Edison van from Smith Electric Vehicles.  The deal is part of the Department for Transport’s low carbon vehicle procurement programme.   Based on the Ford Transit panel van, the Edison has a range of up to 100 miles on a full battery charge and a top speed of 50mph.  Liverpool’s Edison is working in with the council’s maintenance and repairs team responsible for some 2,500 public buildings across the city.  The van is among the first to feature Smith’s new 51kWhr, lithium-ion battery pack and one of the first fitted with Smith Telemetry, the world’s first telematics system for production electric vehicles.
More from Dan Jenkins on +44 (0)7 536 092 682 or dan@brightsparkspr.com

Ten Krone Coil Liners for Morris

ET Morris and Sons Ltd has taken ten Krone Coil Liner trailers for itsr steel transport work across the UK and Ireland.  The firm carries import and export cargoes and specialist imported goods such as steel, timber and paper.  Its main customers are based in Sweden, using shipping lines sailing in and out of Humberside.  The Coil Liner is a curtain side trailer designed for multi-purpose work, safely carrying coils or general cargo.  This is Morris’s first order with Krone.  The firm runs 40 tractor units and 80 semi-trailers out of Boston, Goole Hull and Immingham and expects that the new multipurpose trailers will help it cut empty running.
More from Jude Ball on +44 (0)1 326 560 403 or jude@m1marketing.co.uk

Electric vans and trucks in a cold climate

Smith Electric Vehicles now has a distributor for Iceland, Greenland and the Faroe Islands.  Northern Lights Energy sells a range of environmental and renewable energy projects, including an electric vehicle dealership opening in early 2011.  The firm will get its first Smith Electric demonstration vehicles early next year; these will go to work with big local fleet operators.  NLE has also started the Icelandic National EV Project, through its subsidiary Even.  This national consortium includes public sector bodies and many of Iceland’s biggest and most influential firms.
More from Dan Jenkins on +44 (0)7 536 092 682 or dan@brightsparkspr.com

Smith Electric wins Staples order

Staples, the world’s largest office supply store chain just ordered 41 Smith Newton all-electric trucks from Smith Electric Vehicles US Corp.  Smith US will deliver the vehicles in November for work in California, Missouri and Ohio.  The firm says its zero emission Newton trucks give a 75% saving on fuel, delivering a big cut in ownership costs over the vehicle’s 10 to 15-year life.
More from Dan Jenkins on +44 (0)7 536 092 682 or dan@brightsparkspr.com