Vehicle dealer Sherwood Truck and Van and conversion specialist Astra Vehicle Technologies have created what is said to be the UK’s first plug-in hybrid 3.5-tonne panel van.
The hybrid Iveco Daily 3.5-tonner uses Elinta Motors’ PHEV-80 powertrain, featuring a 116hp Euro-6 diesel engine with a 70-litre fuel tank, and a 110hp electric motor supported by a 20kWh battery pack. It can operate in either diesel or electric mode, or a combination of the two. In pure electric mode, a minimum range of 30 miles at speeds of up to 50mph is provided.
The vehicle’s hybrid control unit co-ordinates the use of the electric motor with the diesel engine. Elinta Motors suggests that in combined mode, diesel consumption will be reduced by up to 70%.
GPS-based geofencing allows the vehicle to switch automatically between modes as drivers enter a ‘green’ zone. A 7in touchscreen in the dashboard provides manual control of driving mode and information on energy efficiency and fuel consumption.
A full charge can be carried out via the vehicle’s onboard charging equipment in 3.5 hours, but the diesel engine can also be used to charge the battery on the road and does so automatically from 20% depletion.
The hybrid Daily 3.5-tonner has a kerbweight of 2,250kg and comes with a 12cu m loadspace.
Sherwood Truck and Van took receipt of the first demonstrator in February and said it expects to supply around 20 units to UK customers in the first 12 months. Lead times will be delivery time from plant plus two weeks, and cost is expected to be around £50,000, said a spokesman for the company.
The conversion is also being made available on larger Daily models up to 7.2 tonnes GVW, based on Elinta’s chunkier PHEV-120 powertrain.
John Chadderton, director of Astra Vehicle Technologies, said: “This intelligent and highly efficient vehicle will give operators the best of both worlds, removing the range anxiety of fully electric vehicles while bringing significant overall fuel and environmental benefits in the electric vehicle and hybrid modes of operation.”
Nick Pemberton, director of Sherwood Truck and Van, said: “Working with Astra has been productive and we are happy with the new hybrid vehicle. We are looking forward to seeing what customers think.”