Commercial Electric Vehicle Trials

SEAI provided 45% support to a number of private and public sector bodies to test electric vehicles in a commercial or operational environment.  The vehicles were tested for one year in 2010 and below follow a summary of those trials.

Detailed reports are available from the following links:

Summary of Trials

Dublin Port Authority and Cork Council evaluated the Verde cargo vans.  These vehicles were light used for short distance task such as transporting components and equipment across local areas such as the port in the case of Dublin Port (650 acre site) and park areas around Cork.  These vehicles used lead acid battery technology however performance and reliability issues were noted particularly in the case of Dublin Port Authority.  The vehicles experienced sudden loss of power and were not able to deliver the range indicated by the supplier.  In this case the vans were returned to the supplier and the trial was terminated.  It was concluded that better engineered lithium powered N1 class vehicles would be more suitable for commercial applications of EVs.

Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council procured and tested a Micro-Vett Cargo Electric Van N1 which cost €38,000 in 2009 and is based on a Fiat Fiorino chassis.  The maximum range of the van was 100km and a fuel cost saving of €650 p.a. together with a €200 saving p.a. on motor tax was achieved compared with a diesel Peugeot 106 van.  The vehicle was driven 5,200km in 2010 and charging was done 3-4 times per week providing sufficient range for typical daily travel requirements of 25 – 60km.  A 22 kWh Lithium polymer battery is fitted to the vehicle and the drivers found the vehicle easy to adapt to.Dun Laoghaire RathDown County Council Micro-Vett vehicle

The Office of Public Works (OPW) purchased a Smith Electric Newton 7.5t truck used for furniture removals with a capital cost of €110,000 (excluding VAT) in 2009.  Grant support of 45% was provided by SEAI.  A like-for-like comparison was performed against two existing Renault Midliner diesel trucks.  The Newton uses 48 Lithium Iron Phosphate cells providing an energy capacity of 80kWh weighing 1.8t.  The Gross Vehicle Weight is 7.5t but the batteries are 1.8t in weight reducing the load carrying capacity of the truck compared to equivalent mass trucks. The truck uses 54% less energy than the diesels giving an annual fuel cost saving of €1,086 (or 41% saving with respect to the diesel trucks).

The vehicle is used on journeys of 20-30km per day. Energy consumption was 1,410Wh/km which is approximately equivalent to 14.1L/100km of diesel fuel energy.  Drivers and management prefer the Newton truck to its diesel equivalent due to its ease of use, smoothness and cleanliness.

OPW 7.5t Electric Truck
Celtic Linen has operated a Smith Electric Newton 10t electric truck at its Dublin depot since April 2010.  The cost of the vehicle was €123,000 (excluding VAT) for which SEAI provided 45% support. In the period from April 2010 to April 2011 it operated 236 days (238 runs), covered 14,124km and consumed 17,450kWh, averaging 1,236 Wh/km (approximately 12.35L/100km diesel energy equivalent).  Most of the routes are between 45 to 85km lengths. The vehicle has a usable range of 100km in normal conditions.  The fuel cost for the electric truck was 9cent per km compared with 20cent per km for the diesel equivalent. Operationally the vehicle has been a success and is popular with drivers, managers and customers. Unexpected benefits of the vehicle are the low noise when delivering to hotels and hospitals in the early hours and its successful performance in the ice and snow of December 2010. The vehicle may also be used indoors given its zero emissions.Celtic Linen 10t Electric Truck
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