DPD has delivered a glowing half-year report on the performance of its first fully-electric FUSO eCanters, reporting that the 7.5-tonne trucks have proved 100% reliable and won enthusiastic driver feedback.
Rob Fowler, General Manager – Corporate Social Responsibility and General Planning, said: “We want to be the leader in alternative fuel vehicles in the UK, and the FUSO eCanter is integral to our EV strategy.
“Aside from the fact that it produces zero tailpipe emissions and therefore offers exemplary environmental credentials, this vehicle is ideally suited to urban operation thanks to its combination of agility and high payload potential.
“We’ve had no issues during their first six months in service with either of our eCanters, and on the basis of their reliability and performance we look forward to commissioning more.”
The world’s first fully electric light-duty truck to enter series production, the FUSO eCanter represents a major advance in the battle to improve air quality in towns and cities. DPD took delivery of two vehicles at a launch event last year, where others were presented to Hovis and Wincanton PLC for operation in the capital.
DPD’s eCanters are based at its London City Distribution Centre in Bermondsey, south of the Thames. The first delivery, for driver Michael Zammett, is always the same. Having unplugged his truck from its overnight charging point, he loads the Bevan-built box body via a Dhollandia tail-lift then heads for the UK’s first, all-electric parcel delivery depot, which was opened by DPD on Vardon Street, Westminster, last October.
Depending on the traffic conditions, the route takes him over Westminster or Lambeth Bridges. Either, way, it’s a journey of less than three-and-a-half miles, but typically takes the best part of 45 minutes to complete.
Zammett said: “When you first drive an eCanter it’s the instant acceleration that is most striking. But what you then, very quickly come to appreciate, is that it’s also so much quieter than a diesel-engined vehicle. The lack of noise and vibration makes the experience at the wheel far more enjoyable, and means I’m nothing like as tired at the end of the day.”