Smith launches the Edison, an all-new electric van

Smith Electric Vehicles launched the Edison, an all-new electric van last month, and judging by the number of enquiries it fielded at the CV Show, a significant number of orders are likely to follow. The van, built in Washington, Tyne & Wear is a far cry from the milk floats the company has been making since the 1920s. It utilises the latest nickel chloride batteries, which gives a top speed of 50mph, a range of up to 150 miles on a single charge and a respectable 1,500kg payload.

As a zero emission vehicle it's VED-free and also manages to avoid the London Congestion Charge. The Edison uses the latest Ford Transit as a donor vehicle. This not only keeps Smith's development costs to a minimum but it gives the company instant access to a full range of van derivatives, including chassis cabs and minibuses. Equally important, it means that the Edison doesn't resemble people's preconceived idea of what an electric van should look like. It doesn't alienate drivers, which should mean higher acceptability than the Smith's previous range of light commercial vehicles.

Sainsbury's has already placed an order for eight Edisons, for use on its on-line home shopping fleet. It has announced plans to replace 20% of its urban delivery fleet with electric vehicles by next September and 100% by 2010. Other orders have come from Scottish & Southern Energy, TNT Express and Ceva Logistics.

Thomas Crompton adds 6x4 Renault Kerax to fleet

Thomas Crompton has added this 6x4 Renault Kerax to its 50-strong fleet, the first double-drive Kerax tractor in the UK.

Commenting on the only Renault in his fleet, MD Thomas Crompton, cited value for money and good ground clearance as key reasons for the purchase.

Thomas Crompton will open the first phase of a £10m recycling plant in Bradford this summer, which will recycle 85% of its customer's waste.

The Kerax will be one of the trucks transporting the remaining 15% of waste, mainly plastics, to specialist recycling centres across the country.