Menzies’ EV plan moves up a gear with van trial
One of Britain’s biggest delivery firms, Menzies Distribution, is accelerating its electric vehicle (EV) strategy with a 12 month trial of a pre-production, all-electric van.
The Ford E-Transit can carry a similar load to its diesel counterpart and has been identified by Menzies as suitable for newstrade, express and parcel operations.
Delivery firms are ramping up their transition to electric vehicles. In October 2020 Amazon revealed its first electric vans built in partnership with Rivian. Ford launched its E-Transit the following month and it went on sale at the end of last year.
The vehicle being tested by Menzies has an estimated range of up to 183 miles which is crucial for a company making long-distance deliveries.
Menzies presently has about 90 charging locations in its network, making it one of the UK’s largest commercial EV charging infrastructures.
Electric vehicles have a lower maintenance cost than their petrol and diesel counterparts, and Ford says maintenance on the E-Transit will cost 40% less than the standard Transit. It also comes with an eight-year, 100,000-mile warranty.
Delivery vehicles spend on average 25% of their day idling. The e-versions will be consuming exactly zero energy during those times.
Menzies will test the vehicle and its existing charging infrastructure, reconciling manufacturer statistics with its own on-the-road assessment.
The test will be used in Menzies’ newstrade and express operations, providing varied routes, mixed terrain, different speeds and, at times, vast mileage ranges, all of which have a bearing on battery life. Data obtained from the test will inform blueprints for all Menzies sites and their EV resources.
Adam Purshall, fleet and procurement director, said:“We are excited to have this opportunity to push the E-Transit and our infrastructure as hard as we can to fully understand the limitations of both and work with the manufacturer to deliver the future of EV technology.
“The transport department is ready to embrace this trial with open arms, and the buy-in of drivers and staff is key to its success.”
Fleet is one of the three main pillars within the Menzies Distribution Sustainability pledge, alongside ‘energy consumption’ and ‘reuse and recycling’ for the business and its partners.
This year Menzies announced plans to become Net Zero for Scope 1 and 2 emissions by no later than 2035 – 15 years ahead of the target date set under the Paris Agreement and in UK legislation.
Ford plans to achieve carbon neutrality globally by 2050.