Destination Net Zero Magazine Issue Five ITTHub 2023 SPECIAL

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REBOOTED eSprinter LUNAZ Repowers E ARTIC In arctic E RENAULTS FOR ENFIELD - CHARGING SHORTFALL - MINI ELECTRIC CV - WATTS ETRUX E SUSTAINABILITY-ENERGY-ENVIRONMENT-FUEL Fox on charge ISSUE FIVE 17/03/2023 10:26:06 10-11 May 2023 2023 Farnborough International REGISTER YOUR FREE PASS 100+ Thought Leaders Technology Showcase Future Logistics Conference by Logistics UK Show-Floor Tech Talk Theatres REGISTER TO JOIN THE NEW MEETINGS PROGRAMME UK’S MOST IMPORTANT TRANSPORT TECHNOLOGY EVENT Future Energy Strategies 17/03/2023 10:26:06


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Welcome to issue five of Destination Net Zero

Green burn

As this issue goes to press, the German automotive sector has announced an agreement with the EU to allow the sale of new vehicles running on ‘e-fuel’ to continue beyond the 2030 cut-off for petrol and dieselengined cars.

This concession was won on behalf of manufacturers such as Porsche, who wish to continue production of iconic performance cars such as the 911 that are built around a distinctive internal-combustion engine, but has interesting implications for the wold of road transport E-fuels themselves are made by using electricity (wind, solar or some other renewable) to break down water into oxygen and hydrogen in a long-established process known as electrolysis.

Air capture technology, a new industrial process, is then used to combine the hydrogen with atmospheric CO2 to create methanol. The methanol then goes through a final process to turn it into gasoline. Combustion of this fuel merely recreates CO2 that was in the atmosphere anyway, rather than releasing carbon that was trapped in the carcases of dead micro-organisms in the Mesozoic era over a span of about 190 million years.

The amount of CO2 removed from the atmosphere during production is very nearly equal to that emitted to the atmosphere when the fuel is combusted. But that’s by no means the only, or even the largest, benefit.

Real environmental gains come from its production compared to refining product from crude. Crude oil quality and composition varies widely, and there is a large quantity of

pollutant chemicals that must be removed from it (with varying degrees of success) before it is fit to be used as fuel in road vehicles.

It’s an intrinsically dirty, energy-hungry and sometimes dangerous process: typically a refinery uses the equivalent of 16 days of its own energy production to power itself for a year.

In contrast, Porsche is involved with an e-fuel plant at the extreme south of Chile, where a single Siemens wind turbine takes advantage of the constant gale blowing across the Magellan Strait to create 130,000 litres of e-fuel a year at a cost of $10 a litre. That is just a drop in the proverbial (Southern) ocean, of course, but it’s a start none-the-less.

Wind the clock back a year or so, and this would have been seen as of no relevance by the British Government, which saw battery-electric as the only acceptable form of motive power for vehicles and wanted the internal combustion engine consigned to history.

But that situation seems to be changing. The UK Parliament’s Transport Select Committee has urged the Government to do everything it can to speed up the mass production and use of e-fuels in the automotive and aviation sectors, plus investigate its use in road transport and shipping.

One problem is that vehicle manufacturers, including truck OEMs, have diverted an increasing amount of R&D spending away from internal combustion and into battery-electrics. As you can read in this issue, they are now increasingly alarmed that their efforts down this route have not been supported by anything like

a comparable effort from Government and other organisations to invest in or even enable expanded power distribution and charging facilities, and alternatives are now being sought.

E-fuels are among these alternatives, but are faced with two further problems. One is the diversion of R&D away from combustion and into battery-electrics which is at very least slowing the take-up of new combustion fuels, and the other is the introduction of the fuels themselves into the existing distribution network.

Cummins is one engine manufacturer which is developing ‘fuel-agnostic’ engines: these share a common core, but with different top-end components that can be manufactured to run on methane, hydrogen, petrol (including e-fuel) and diesel (including HVO). It’s entirely possible that an increasing number of European truck makers will make increasing use of Cummins proprietary engines to at least fill the gap until the infrastructure is ready for battery-electrics or other non-combustion propulsion.

Road transport already has an alternative to e-fuel in place, of course: HVO. This is a carbon-neutral (or even carbon-negative) fuel, that is acceptable for most modern truck engines and can be used without modification. Unlike bio-diesel, is causes no combustion, contamination, or maintenance issues.

Yet the Government ignores its potential, seemingly as a matter of policy. It pays the same fuel-duty as ‘fossil’ diesel, and no attempt is made to promote it.

We can only wonder why.

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Publisher: Matthew Eisenegger

Managing Editor: Richard Simpson

Designer: Harold Francis Callahan

Editorial Address: Commercial Vehicle

Media & Publishing Ltd, 4th Floor 19 Capesthorne Drive, Eaves Green, Chorley, Lancashire. PR7 3QQ

Telephone: 01257 231521



Advertising Sales: David Johns

Telephone: 01388 517906 Mobile: 07590 547343



Art Editor: Harold Francis Callahan

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Steve Banner

Grahame Neagus

John Challen

Jack Sunderland

PUBLISHED BY Commercial Vehicle Media & Publishing Ltd, 4th Floor, 19 Capesthorne Drive, Eaves Green, Chorley, Lancashire. PR7 3QQ Telephone: 01257 231521

NOTE The publisher makes every effort to ensure the magazine’s contents are correct. All material published in Destination Net Zero magazine is copyright and unauthorised reproduction is forbidden. The Editors and Publisher of this magazine give no warranties, guarantees or assurances and make no representations regarding any goods or services advertised in this edition.

Destination Net Zero magazine is published under a licence from Commercial Vehicle Media & Publishing Ltd. All rights in the licensed material belong to Matthew Eisenegger or Commercial Vehicle Media and Publishing Ltd and may not be reproduced whether in whole or in part, without their prior written consent.

Destination Net Zero Magazine is a registered trademark. © 2023



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If you are not going to keep this magazine for future reference please pass it on or recycle it.

16 –19

Bridgestone Tyres on the road to efficiancy
Thought Leadership Grahame Neagus’ thoughts on young blood for the industry
23 ULEZ New regs for vans in the capital
11 News Future legistics at ITThub 4 destination net zero | issue 5
Electrified RCVs 30
Fox Volvo Blue tippers going green 22 –
24 – 27 Mercedes eSprinter Updated vans
new motors 6, 8, 10 &
28 –
– 31 Scania EV Driven
arctic conditions
10-11 May 2023 DISCOVER THE FUTURE INNOVATION OF THE TRANSPORT INDUSTRY 2023 Farnborough International REGISTER YOUR FREE PASS 100+ Thought Leaders Technology Showcase Future Logistics Conference by Logistics UK Show-Floor Tech Talk Theatres REGISTER TO JOIN THE NEW MEETINGS PROGRAMME UK’S MOST IMPORTANT TRANSPORT TECHNOLOGY EVENT Strategic partner Commerical partners Future Energy Strategies

Latest news and updates

Everything you need to know from the last two months


A packed two-day conference programme is the key attraction at this year’s ITT (innovation and technology in transport) hub, May 10 – 11, Farnborough International Exhibition and Conference Centre. Logistics UK will host its Future Logistics Conference on both days at the event, with a keynote speech from Minister of State for Decarbonisation and Technology, Jesse Norman MP, opening day two.

Day one will kick off with a keynote speech from theoretical physicist, author and Radio 4 broadcaster, Professor Jim Al-Khalili, who will discuss how many cutting-edge scientific discoveries in global communication, energy generation, battery technology, computer science and artificial intelligence will impact the world of transportation and logistics in the coming decade and beyond.

Topics up for discussion include the Government’s roadmap for net zero fleets, decarbonising heavy transport, electrification and

charging infrastructure, the business case for electrification, costeffective electrification, and the launch of Logistics UK’s latest EV report.

Exhibitors at ITThub will include Air Products (hydrogen fuel), Alliance Technology (battery management), Allison Transmission (electrified drivelines), Argent Energy (biofuels), Aspoek UK (trailer lighting), EDF Renewables (renewable power supply and storage), Geniepoint (charging), Fleete (charging), Genie Insights (solar charging), Heliox (smart energy), Hubbard (vehicle refrigeration), Labcraft (lighting), MAHA (UK) (vehicle workshop lifts), Mer (vehicle charging), Parksafe Group (vehicle safety equipment), Portland Analytics (energy consultants), Ram Mount UK (mobile mounting systems), RVL Services (van refrigeration), Schmitz Cargobull (bodywork and trailers), Tachosys (tachograph downloads), ThermoKing (refrigeration), and TIP (trailer leasing services).

10-11 May 2023 TRANSPORT INDUSTRY 2023 Farnborough International Future Logistics Conference by Logistics UK UK’S MOST IMPORTANT TRANSPORT TECHNOLOGY EVENT Strategic partner Commerical partners ITT_Hub_A4.indd 1 17/03/2023 10:26:06 6 destination net zero | issue 5

First electric Renault RCVs for council

London’s Enfield Council has taken delivery of its first fully-electric 26 tonne Renault Trucks E-Tech D Wide low-entry cab rear-steer refuse truck after an extensive development and evaluation process.

The new ultra-quiet E-Tech D Wide is equipped with CP Davidson Titan refuse body, and is the first of four to be delivered. They will service the households of the London Borough of Enfield, with the remaining three vehicles expected to be on the road by the summer.

Powered by four lithium-ion batteries, two AC synchronous electric machines drive the vehicle and recover regenerative energy with permanent magnet technology delivering maximum peak power of 370kW, continuous power of 260kW, and maximum torque of 850Nm. The refuse trucks will be joined by five 3.5 tonne Renault Trucks E-Tech Master 33kWh Cage Tippers for Enfield’s parks operations.

Depending on operational requirements, the new electric vehicles can cover between 50-100 miles per day: typically refuse collection rounds clock-up around 50 miles and the street cleaners around 30 miles per shift. The vehicles will be charged at The Civic Centre in Enfield Town or the Morson Road depot, both of which are fitted with dedicated charging points.

Explaining the decision to select the Renault Trucks E-Tech electric vehicles, Enfield Council’s cabinet member for environment, Cllr Rick Jewell, said: “Where possible, electric vehicles will be our first choice when it comes to fleet replacements. This will result in a fleet of clean and efficient vehicles. Moving to electric vehicles will ensure our carbon footprint is reduced and kept to a minimum.

“Enfield Council has been working in partnership with Renault Trucks UK for more than a year on the development of the electric refuse truck. Prototypes went through extensive testing and road trials right here in Enfield. We were extremely happy with how the vehicles performed in our waste collection operations, demonstrating high performance and reliability, even along our longer routes, and very good battery life. This performance is critical for a large, busy, London borough.”

Enfield Council’s deputy leader, Cllr Ergin Erbil, added: “Our Climate Action Plan includes a switch of the Council’s vehicle fleet to electric with a target of 60 per cent by 2026 and 100 per cent by 2030. In addition, we have a programme of installing charging points at council offices and depots for our fleet, a lamppost EV charging installation programme is currently underway across selected areas of the borough and a roll out of rapid chargers in town centres and at strategic locations in Enfield.”

Cllr Ergin Erbil continued: “Emissions from transport in Enfield account for an estimated 39 per cent of the borough’s total emissions. The electrification of our fleet, along with ongoing support for walking and cycling, will help to achieve our local climate action goals as well as the Mayor of London’s targets for active and sustainable travel in the capital.”

The E-Techs will be maintained by Renault Trucks dealer Norfolk Truck & Van, Enfield on a full R&M contract.

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Latest news and updates

Everything you need to know from the last two months

ACEA demands better charging

European automotive manufacturing industry association ACEA has questioned whether sufficient zero-emissions heavyduty trucks and the facilities to charge them, can be available in time to meet ambitious renewable energy targets set by the European Union.

MEPs and national ministers have agreed to build more recharging and alternative fuel stations under a revised Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Regulation (AFIR) to serve all vehicle types, but ACEA fears that the target is weak and insufficiently comprehensive.

ACEA director-general, Sigrid de Vries, said: “Already today, a lack of charging and refuelling stations is severely hampering the market uptake of zeroemission vehicles. AFIR therefore has a crucial role to play as we make the shift to carbon-neutral transport.”

She acknowledged that the legislators have adjusted their respective positions to come to an agreement on AFIR, but maintains the outcome remains well below what would be necessary to match the ambition levels set for vehicle manufacturers in terms of CO2 targets.

“A significant ‘infrastructure gap’ will continue to limit CO2 reductions and the transition of our sector to climate neutrality,” she cautioned.

ACEA warned that in the heavy-duty segment, meeting the recently-proposed CO2 reduction levels (- 45% by 2030), some 400,000 battery-electric and hydrogenpowered trucks (mainly long-haul) would be required on EU roads by the end of the decade. In addition, more than one-third of all new trucks sold would have to be zero-emission (close to 100,000 trucks) every year from 2030. These vehicles would

require more than 50,000 chargers suitable for heavy-duty vehicles, including some 35,000 megawatt chargers, as well as at least 700 hydrogen refuelling stations. With the state of charging and refuelling infrastructure today, even the current CO2 targets (-30% by 2030) are out of reach.

The AFIR agreement falls short of the required ambition level, both with respect to the necessary power outputs and deployment timelines. The short-term review for heavy-duty vehicles, will have to ensure that further adjustments will be made to address the specific requirements of trucks.

In addition to AFIR, member states must urgently ensure that planning and permitting processes are accelerated, power grids are upgraded and suitable sites are made available for truck-charging, ACEA concludes.

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The message about needing to move towards a more sustainable future is being heard by the UK’s SMEs as they actively plan for a ‘greener’ way of doing business, according to the latest independent research from Close Brothers Asset Finance and Leasing.

The data reveals that 75% of those polled state being a sustainable business is important to them while a further 77% believe their firm already behaves sustainably.

Four in five firms are actively enacting plans to become more sustainable, while 62% have set goals to make their firm

greener and more efficient, providing hope that the ‘green revolution’ is beginning to gain traction among the UK’s smaller firms who aren’t waiting for larger businesses to take the lead.

According to the CBI, the UK risks falling behind Europe, the US and Asia in the race towards investing in green technology if more action isn’t taken soon; however, according to the research, 60% of firms have already invested in technology to help them become more sustainable. This finding clearly demonstrates the willingness of business owners to spend capital on green technology in spite of the many challenges they face, including

inflation, interest rate hikes and subdued demand.

“These results make for very encouraging reading,” said Neil Davies, CEO of Close Brothers’ Commercial Division. “The message about the need to move to a greener way of living has landed and is being heard loud and clear.

“Every business has a clear duty to act responsibly towards the environment and we are working with firms across the UK on renewable energy projects, including shore wind farms, solar energy installations, battery storage projects and landfill CHP projects, to name a few.”

Close Brothers Asset Finance is a trading style of Close Brothers Limited. Close Brothers Limited is registered in England and Wales (Company Number 00195626) and its registered office is 10 Crown Place, London, EC2A 4FT. Contact us today to find your superpower. Our team of experts can help you defeat the mounting cost of doing business. Our quick lending decisions and industry knowledge, enable our customers to unleash the value in their business. Combat
costs issue 5 | destination net zero 9
ECONOMIC HEADWINDS For more information, please visit

Latest news and updates

Everything you need to know from the last two months

Watts up for ETRUX partnership

Watt Electric Vehicle Company (WEVC) has announced a partnership with ETRUX, an electric commercial vehicle specialist, that is set to accelerate the adoption of next-gen electric light commercial vehicles – with the first prototype debuting at April’s Commercial Vehicle Show.

Following the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the two companies, the collaboration will see WEVC’s electric vehicle platform technology adapted by ETRUX into a range of offerings for the commercial vehicle market. To underline the intent of the relationship, ETRUX will be exhibiting an engineering prototype, based on WEVC’s Watt eCV1 3.5-tonne cab and chassis unit (codenamed eCV1 in development), on its stand at the CV Show, complete with an in-housedesigned body.

The CV Show will be the first chance to see the functional prototype, which will be continuing test and development activities directly after the event. Designed for production of up to 5000 vehicles per annum, WEVC’s innovative and highly flexible 3.5-tonne cab and chassis unit enables a wide range of electric commercial vehicle designs, facilitating mission-specific models which meet customers’ particular requirements.

Mini electric CVs for fast-growing cities

Helixx, a new UK-based global technology company, has announced a range of four affordable mini commercial electric vehicles to provide clean, sustainable mobility for service businesses in fast-growing, densely populated urban centres.

Engineered in the UK and designed to be built virtually anywhere in the world in licensed Helixx Mobility Hubs, vehicles will be offered on a subscription basis for commercial users from $0.25 per hour.

Economically and technologically developing cities across the world are experiencing dramatically increasing population density. The U.N. predicts that 6.6 billion people will be living in urban areas by 2050. Growing populations mean that a fundamental shift towards more efficient mobility systems is vital.

Small, safe, affordable, zero-emission vehicles that are built locally within a fully managed circular manufacturing Industry 5.0 ecosystem offer the potential to unlock opportunities for economic growth by solving mobility and air-quality challenges.

Helixx Mobility Hubs will help to keep carbon emissions to a minimum whilst empowering local enterprise to make, sell and support vehicles over their entire lifecycle, and beyond.

The Helixx range is designed by Jowyn Wong and Jakub Jodlowski whose portfolio includes hypercars for manufacturers such as Apollo and DeTomaso. State-of-the-art cabins offer a premium space for enhanced driver and passenger comfort for urban services. The range initially comprises four body styles, designed for optimum production simplicity through the innovative, flexible Helixx assembly process.

For example, the CARGO is a commercial goods vehicle designed to support the booming demand for last-mile delivery fleets, with 2100 litres of cargo space and the capability to carry the majority of ISO pallets in target markets. The TRUCK is a pick-up that’s ideal for construction businesses and urban developers.

The TUK and RIDE, with open and closed-door bodies respectively, are designed as the best solution for urban ride-hailing to replace older, heavily polluting, combustionpowered fleets.

All four vehicles offer a zero-emission driving range for a virtually uninterrupted 24-hour duty cycle with rapidly swappable, Lithium Iron Phosphate (LFP) battery packs with range on-demand for full flexibility.

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Logistics UK slams Government inaction

Logistics UK warns that the Government is running out of time if it wishes to meet the targets it has set on reducing the CO2 output from Transport.

Michelle Gardner, deputy director of policy at Logistics UK, said: “Figures released by the Department for Transport (DfT) showed that as of October 2022, the total number of public electric vehicle chargepoints across the UK was 34,637. This falls woefully short of the 300,000 target the DfT has set for 2030, and it is vital that the pace of public charging installation increases to ensure targets are met in time for the phase-out dates of diesel and petrol vans and cars. It is also crucial that commercial vehicles – which typically require larger bays, longer reaching cables and a rapid-charging ability – are considered throughout installation to ensure that the logistics industry can continue to efficiently deliver to every sector of the UK economy.

“There is also a current lack of clarity regarding the best transition method for heavier vehicles, including low carbon fuels (LCFs), overhead electric cables on key routes and hydrogen. While trials are underway, these will take time and as a result, the lack of certainty is making it harder for businesses to plan future investment, especially as significant infrastructure will be needed to support alternative fuels and technologies. Logistics UK will continue to work with its members, and government, to seek solutions.”

“Truckfile continues to be much more than a tool to help us keep our Earned Recognition status, though. It’s now an indispensable aid in keeping our fleet operation running smoothly, and has wider benefits too”

Compliance. Done digitally.

Driver Check, Fleet & Workshop Management

FleetCheck checks EV efficiencies

A range of new tools giving fleets the means to measure the efficiency of electric vehicles (EVs) has been added by FleetCheck to its fleet management software.

They allow businesses to record charging information and measure it against the real world performance of electric cars and vans, generating reports ranging from individual vehicles to the entire fleet.

Peter Golding, managing director at FleetCheck, said: “The increase in the cost of charging seen over the last year or so, combined with a growing realisation that

efficiency varies quite widely from one EV model to another, are behind these changes.

“Fleets want to know more about which charging options and which vehicles are costing them the most money so they can take action. For almost all operators, it’s a relatively new area, and they are looking for reliable information and clear reporting.

“The new tools we have introduced provide this, enabling data to be imported directly from external sources or entered manually, so that the reporting on each vehicle provides an accurate picture of fuel costs and use.”

Peter said that the remedial measures undertaken by fleets where EV fuel costs were felt to be excessive were essentially the same as for petrol or diesel vehicles.

“The variables that need to be investigated are almost identical – is the fuel being acquired at the best cost? Is there a fault with the vehicle? Is the driver too aggressive on the road?

“In our view, fleets are very much starting to think about EV charging in exactly the same way as fuelling internal-combustion engine vehicles, and the solutions they are applying – from specifying where fuel can be bought to encouraging better driving –are much the same.”

“The administration of our fleet is more streamlined and efficient than ever before.”
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Bridgestone has stated its strongest-ever case for the fuel saving and CO2 reducing capabilities of its Duravis and Ecopia tyre ranges, after completing a four-month academic study with Coventry University in response to the ongoing cost-of-living crisis.

With increasing economic demands being placed on its commercial fleet partners, Bridgestone contacted the Warwickshire university with an invitation to investigate the benefits associated with its premium products.

Business Analytics Masters Graduate Sreyas Sunil Kunnappally accepted the challenge and embarked on a painstaking project to arrive at a definitive conclusion, with his final report now being revealed for the first time.

The 24-year-old discovered that up to 40,000 metric tonnes of CO2 could be saved across the UK’s haulage sector per year if every long haul HGV ran on Ecopia H002 tyres.

This equates to between £2,200 and £3,200 in fuel per HGV (between 1,100 litres and 1,600 litres)

The data was categorised into regional (Duravis tyre range) and long haul (Ecopia tyre range). Only HGVs above 8 tonnes were considered for the market split, with 90% weightage given for regional and 10% for long haul. The results were calculated on the premise that all vehicles would be running on ‘D class’ tyres and would be swapping to the ‘A class’ Ecopia range on all axles, referencing a number of sources including official Department for Transport statistics.

The same equation was applied to all regional HGVs running on Bridgestone’s ‘B class’ Duravis range, where up to 3 million metric tonnes of CO2 would be saved per year, with a fuel saving per-regional truck of between £1,300 and £1,900 (between 650 litres and 950 litres).

The study is Bridgestone’s most comprehensive piece of product research ever commissioned since the tyres were brought onto the market in 2018.

Sreyas, who has recently graduated with a distinction, said: “I love working with data and the definitive conclusions that data

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provides. What I found was that there’s a great deal of technology that goes into manufacturing Bridgestone’s premium Duravis and Ecopia ranges.

“The CO2 results, in particular, were a surprise to me. I didn’t expect to see such a huge difference here, possibly because it’s so easy to think that all tyres perform equally because they all look so similar to the naked eye. This clearly isn’t the case.

“We all think of a vehicle’s efficiency being associated with its engine, but around 35% of fuel efficiency is associated with the tyres it is operating on. This is one of the most crucial findings of all, particularly in the challenging economic climate we’re all faced with right now.

“It was a pleasure to work on this project and if there is one lesson to be taken from its findings, then it’s that Bridgestone’s tyres really do provide huge benefits – both environmentally and economically.” Bridgestone’s research coincides with its long-term pledge to the environment and sustainability, as seen through its Bridgestone

E8 Commitment – the broad, global corporate commitment that clearly defines the value Bridgestone is promising to deliver to society, customers, and future generations in eight focus areas.

This body of research aligns perfectly with the “Ecology” and “Energy” values in the E8 philosophy.

Bridgestone’s North Region Vice President Andrea Manenti said: “We have never commissioned a study as comprehensive as this, with some leading academic minds in the UK. We know all about the environmental – and financial – benefits of our Ecopia and Duravis ranges, but we wanted to present the savings in the most credible way possible.

“By teaming up with Coventry University, we were able to do this and we can’t praise everyone there enough for allowing their talent to capture so much data and present it in such a compelling manner.

“With so much strain on our fleet customers’ pockets and the issue of sustainable more

important than ever, we wanted to state our case for our Ecopia and Duravis ranges in the most conclusive way possible. We know that our products are good for commercial fleets both financially and environmentally, and this study goes a long way in underlining this fact.”

The Bridgestone Ecopia H002 achieves best in class fuel efficiency through an EU label A-A-A grade combination in steer, drive and trailer. It also boasts outstanding wetweather performance and offer year-round convenience through full compliance with European winter legislations.

Meanwhile, the Duravis R002 provides optimised fuel efficiency, with a B-C-B combination in steer, drive and trailer and is a multipurpose tyre for all types of on-road fleet vehicles operating in a wide range of applications.

For more information about both products and more details on fuel savings and CO2 reductions through Bridgestone’s tyres, visit fuelCO2savings

issue 5 | destination net zero 13

Deadlines, challenges and migration

While the destination is clear, the journey for many may seem uncertain. However, with datelines now drawn in the sand by the EU, our own Government and even local government, we all need to hit certain targets by certain times.

Time is one element of this, and time is also ticking for our industry in a different way. Why? Let me explain.

Like many of my colleagues and friends, I have been doing the job I love for nearly 40 years. With that comes a wealth of experience that I use each and every single day, however I won’t be around forever. Right across our industry, we need to start succession planning.

Recruitment challenges are real, as a recent conversation with the MD of one of our

most trusted bodybuilders highlighted, “The younger people just don’t see the value and the development opportunities in commercial body building anymore and are not willing to learn their trade at the rates we are able to pay. They think it as being lower than what they believe they are worth yet they know nothing in the type of work we need them to undertake. My most experienced builders won’t be around forever and I need them to pass on their skills to the next generation but even if I find them, it’s so difficult to make them stay during their learning phase which let’s face it, is not a five-minute exercise.”

Workshops up and down the UK are facing a similar story. Over the next decade we need to have the next generation excited to follow on behind, keen to learn these highly skilled jobs from their managers, ready to fill the

shoes of those experienced people. And as we transition to zero-emission vehicles, we need the industry to invest in the new skills and expertise to keep up with the growth in technology.

It is clear that we urgently need to reframe the narrative to attract and retain young talent. Fast moving, fast paced and high tech, this is an industry with great prospects and a sustainable future, transitioning from diesel technology to electric mobility and hydrogen. These are exciting times for transport.

At OEM level here at Renault Trucks, we certainly have highly focused plans already in place and are delivering new electric training modules that are being used daily in our dealer network’s workshops as more

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As we move steadily through 2023 and onwards to 2030 and beyond, I am often struck by the pace of change our industry is currently experiencing.

electric vehicles are delivered. For Renault Trucks, electric mobility is a journey that we have been working on for years to reach this point, and it is a continual evolution. It is not a luxury, it is a necessity.

For parts and aftersales management, there is relatively little change. The processes of selling and distributing parts today for an ICE engine is the same for alternatively-fuelled vehicles, it’s just a different part that needs to be delivered in the most effective and efficient manner.

Sales, however, is not quite so easy and certainly here at Renault Trucks, we have taken this seriously, investing in the training and development that ensures our OEM teams and dealer network are experts in electric mobility to support customers on

their transition to a decarbonised fleet. All of us, from OEM, dealers and body builder to operators and drivers, must make our industry and our own businesses more attractive to those starting out in their careers. I am positive that FormulaE faced similar challenges in wrestling fans away from F1 into their own brand of racing, yet it has happened and they have made it look and feel inspiring and aspirational, with many of their attributes now coming into F1 itself.

We need to do the same if we are to attract the next generation into our businesses and keep the great tradition of what we all do alive today and tomorrow. For younger workers who value organisations that have a positive impact on the world, the decarbonisation of the transport and

logistics industry is ideally placed to appeal. These are exciting times both for those already in our sector and for those new entrants on the first rung of the ladder, with strong growth and opportunities for career progression ahead. We need to share a commitment to innovation, technology and the environment to inspire more to join our industry on the road to net zero.

As an industry we all have a responsibility to our future. We do not own what we have today, we are simply looking after and nurturing it for the next generation, and this is now driving many of the decisions we are having to take. It looks like over my long career, it is going to be the next ten years that will experience the most seismic change and, while it might not always be easy, there are exciting times ahead.

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“The younger people just don’t see the value and the development opportunities in commercial body building”
• Grahame Neagus

We do like to be beside the e-side

Richard Simpson reports on the perils and advantages of the early adoption of heavy-duty electric vehicles, as experienced by Fox Brothers of Blackpool


Brothers of Blackpool has made history by putting the UK’s first battery-electric tipper trucks into service.

The two Volvo FE Electric 6x2s which were delivered in 2022 are only the second-such vehicles to be put into use anywhere in Europe, and have cemented Fox Brothers’ status as a pioneer on the UK’s route to a net zero transport industry. Fox Brothers also runs some battery-electric plant items, including diggers and rollers, as the UK’s construction industry is also faced with a Net Zero target.

A concession allowing the FE Electrics to be plated at 27 tonnes, where a diesel equivalent three-axle truck has a maximum weight of 26 tonnes, helps off-set the increased unladen weight of the battery-powered vehicles

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“Volvo FE Electric requires an average daily charge of 300kW/h, while the equivalent diesel truck burns 350 litres of fuel a day.”

There is rightly some scepticism about just how ‘green’ electric trucks might be, especially as many EV proponents look no further than their status as zero tailpipe emissions vehicles and ignore the upstream emissions of power generation. Fox Brothers has countered this by producing some robust data based on operational experience that acknowledges the carbon footprint of power generation, yet still shows a substantial saving in CO2 equivalent emissions.

This data has been calculated using conversion factors provided by Greenhouse Gas Reporting. These show that a Volvo FE Electric requires an average daily charge of 300kW/h, while the equivalent diesel truck burns 350 litres of fuel a day. Round these up to a five-day week and the electric truck absorbs 1500 kWh of energy from the grid, while the diesel truck consumes 1750 litres of fossil fuel. This translates to just over 290kg of CO2-equivalent from the power generation needed to charge the electric truck, while the weekly burn of the diesel vehicle produces 4725kg of CO2 equivalent.

That’s an impressive saving by any standard, but unfortunately there are other constraints in the way of wholesale adoption of batteryelectrics, not just for Fox Brothers, but for the industry as a whole. Fox Brothers admits that the current high capital cost premium of choosing battery over diesel means the trucks would not be a viable commercial proposition for most operators whether they were purchased or leased, and the hike in electricity prices which has come since the vehicles were ordered has been a most unwelcome surprise.

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Looking to the future, the company is planning to install solar panels, which will ensure that at least some of its energy demand is being met by electricity that is both home-grown and sustainable.

There have also been difficult operational constraints.

The first of these is unavoidable: ground clearance. The chassis-mounted battery-packs reduce the trucks’ ‘break-over’ ground clearance, which means some sites are inaccessible to them, and traffic planners must take this into account when allocating each truck its day’s work.

The second is rather more variable: operational range. The trucks were specified to carry seven loads a day within a 20-mile radius of the company’s Leyland depot. In practice, this is indeed possible, but only in ideal conditions. Venturing into hilly terrain can reduce range dramatically, while running in winter conditions sees lights, cab-heater and windscreen-wipers all depleting battery endurance.

On occasions, the electric trucks have had to stop work to recharge at lunchtime.

And actually connecting power to the vehicles has been an issue since day one. Supplying dealer Thomas Hardie Commercials was able to resolve initial problems in getting the two FE Electrics to charge, but expanding charging facilities to increase the number of electric trucks operating out of Leyland is going to be very expensive, if not impossible.

Its electricity provider has told Fox Brothers that it will have to finance a £50,000 improvement to the local distribution grid if it is to install

another four chargers, so up to six electric trucks can recharge simultaneously, and installing just 20 chargers in a depot that is home to 160 trucks would be impossible.

So, for the moment, the Volvo FE Electrics are more of a symbol of an intention to ‘green’ the transport and construction sectors than they are a practical tool.

But the good news is that they are working brilliantly in this role. As a large player in the construction sector, Fox Brothers has seen the much-publicised arrival of the FE Electrics boost its Corporate Social Responsibility and Environmental Social Governance ratings.

This, in turn, makes it an attractive partner for government bodies and large plcs seeking to enhance their own green and social credentials. Combining the Volvo FE Electrics with the company’s electric crusher and mobile plant means Fox Brothers can present an unusually ‘green’ solution for the traditionally dirty construction and civil engineering sectors.

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• L to R: Neil Crook, Thomas Hardie Commercials; Paul Fox, Fox Group; Chritian Coosate, Volvo Trucks; Jim Murray, Thomas Hardie Commercials

• Recharging is constraining e-fleet expansion

Demand has been such that Fox Brothers has subsequently ordered two more, heavier, 8x4 Volvo FMX Electric tippers.

While they have made the headlines, the credentials of the electric vehicles are underpinned by sound environmental and safety policies garnered from Fox Brothers FORS Gold status.

Last year, the company put 336 drivers through the FORS LoCity Driving Course, and its drivers also undertake RORS eLearning courses. Additionally, the company has sought to minimise the impact of its conventional vehicles, by using the FORS Anti-Idling and CongestionCutting Toolkit and Drivers Guide, to ensure that its diesel-powered vehicles are creating the lowest possible emissions levels.

Even if an operator is not yet ready to take the plunge into EV deployment, there are still gains to be made by better using existing equipment with FORS guidance.

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“Fox Brothers can present an unusually ‘green’ solution for the traditionally dirty construction and civil engineering sectors.”

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The best kept secret. Until now.

14 The Standard Summer 2021
The best kept secret. Until now.

ULEZ explained

London’s Ultra Low Emission Zone

(ULEZ) is expanding. From 29 August it will cover all the capital’s boroughs, and van operators will be among those affected by its spread.

The vast majority of light commercials grossing at up to and including 3.5 tonnes travelling within the camera-monitored 24/7 (except Christmas Day) ULEZ must meet Euro 6 so far as NOx and particulate emissions are concerned if they are diesels. If they happen to be petrol-powered then they must comply with the Euro 4 NOx limit.

ULEZ enforcement is based on the declared emissions of a vehicle rather than its age. That said, Transport for London (TfL) states that all new diesel light commercials sold from September 2016 onwards are likely to meet the Euro 6 standard.

All new petrol vans sold from January 2006 are likely to meet the Euro 4 requirement, it adds.

The ULEZ also embraces ambulances and motorcaravans grossing at between 2.5 and 3.5 tonnes, and minibuses with more than eight passenger seats, but not grossing at above 5.0 tonnes.

Cars are covered by the ULEZ. They must meet the same emission levels as light commercials says TfL, but there are important differences.

“Petrol cars that meet the ULEZ standard are generally those first registered with the DVLA (Driver and

Vehicle Licensing Agency) after 2005, although models that comply have been available since 2001,” it points out. “Diesels that do are generally those first registered with the DVLA after September 2015.”

Motorcycles, mopeds, motorised tricycles and L-category quadricycles – all of which could be used on final-mile delivery work – have to meet the Euro 3 NOx level.

“Generally speaking, Euro 3 engines are fitted to models registered with the DVLA after July 2007,” says TfL.

Goods vehicles grossing at above 3.5 tonnes do not fall within the ambit of the ULEZ. Nor do buses, minibuses and coaches that tip the scales at above 5.0 tonnes.

They are covered by the LEZ rules however, which means they must match Euro VI for NOx and particulates.

Take a non-compliant vehicle into the ULEZ and you will be charged £12.50 a day. Fail to pay and you will be hit by a £180 penalty, reduced to £90 if you cough up within 14 days.

There are various ways to pay the daily charge. You can do so using Auto Pay, which takes the money automatically from a bank account or payment card, pay online, download TfL’s pay to drive in London app free-of-charge from either the Apple App Store or Google Play Store, or simply pay by phone.

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Van and minibus operators running older vehicles in outer London will be liable for a £12.50 daily charge.
Words: Steve Banner
“Fail to pay and you will be hit by a £180 penalty, reduced to £90 if you cough up within 14 days.”

The central London Congestion Charge Zone is staying as it is, and is not affected by any of these changes.

TfL is expanding the ULEZ from the centre of London to almost its entirety in a further bid to clean up the air its inhabitants breathe.

Says mayor Sadiq Khan: “The air Londoners breathe is so toxic it stunts children’s lungs, exacerbates chronic illnesses and contributes to thousands of premature deaths each year. More than half of the 500,000 Londoners with asthma live in outer London, and all areas of the capital still breach safe levels of pollution.”

Adds Jemima Hartshorn, founder and director of campaign group Mums for Lungs: “We’re delighted to see this expansion happening. It will help clean up the air and hopefully reduce some of the preventable illnesses caused by air pollution.

“But sadly, it’s not enough to ensure all kids can breathe easily,” she adds. “We need to see a plan to get rid of diesel in its entirety.”

Several leading trade associations are critical of the ULEZ extension. They argue that it will oblige hard-pressed private individuals and businesses to replace non-compliant vehicles at a time when they may not be able to afford to do so given current economic pressures.

TfL has introduced a £110m vehicle scrappage scheme to help defray some of the expense. While that sounds generous, it may not cover the likely demand given the size of London’s population, the associations contend.

Bear in mind too that the van scrappage element of the programme is only open to sole traders, registered charities, and businesses with ten or fewer employees. They must operate within the 32 London boroughs or the City of London.

If you want to scrap a non-compliant van and obtain a compliant model then you can claim £5,000. You can claim the same amount if you opt to retrofit your existing vehicle with emission control equipment to meet ULEZ stipulations; anything retrofitted must be certified by the government’s Clean Vehicle Retrofit Accreditation Scheme.

Go for a zero-emission electric van however – something TfL is encouraging - then you can claim £7,500.

Iveco has responded promptly with a contribution of a further £1,000 to incentivise claimants to opt for one of the new electric eDailies.

Says Iveco UK light business line director, Mike Cutts: “Air quality is a critical environmental issue, so encouraging operators to go electric by making the switch even more affordable makes sense. Iveco is proud to support this scheme.”

Offered with one, two or three 37kWh battery packs, eDaily can cover up to 248 miles on a single charge, says Iveco. Rapid charging at 80kW will see it gain just over 60 miles of range in 30 minutes, the manufacturer adds, and the newcomer is available with a 15kW electric power takeoff which can be used to drive a wide range of ancillary equipment.

Long lead times mean that firms that have ordered new compliant vans from some manufacturers may not be able to take delivery of them until long after the ULEZ expansion has been implemented. Suitable second-hand models are available, but price and availability issues may rule them out of court for many too.

TfL and Sadiq Khan are highly unlikely to backtrack on the expansion, however.

“My proposals for expanding the ULEZ are the right thing to do,” insists the mayor. “Air pollution is not just a central London issue; and Londoners in the outer boroughs should be able to enjoy the clean air benefits the ULEZ brings.”

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ULEZ covers NOx and PM emissions • £1,000 off an eDaily

Sprinting faster and further

The latest eSprinter

gets a new electrically-driven rear axle which has saved weight and will allow more variants to be produced. Previously limited to just one size of panel van, the next generation eSprinter, which will arrive in the UK early next year, will also come as a chassis-cab with refrigerated and flatbed variants direct from the factory. There will now be two wheelbase lengths for the panel van.

Improvements have been made to the electrical systems, with power coming from new permanent magnet synchronous motors. These will produce either 100kW or 150kW – a sizeable upgrade from the previous eSprinter’s 85kW motor.

New eSprinters will also have 400Nm of torque, up from 295Nm, while the motor is now lighter at just 130kg which when combined with new lighter batteries helps the eSprinter achieve a maximum payload of 1,575kg. It will be produced in two gross vehicle weights of 3.5- and 4.25-tonnes, and will be able to tow up to two tonnes.

Three different battery sizes are available with 56kWh, 81kWh and 113kWh lithium iron phosphate packs: a major upgrade from the two battery pack sizes of 41kWh or 55kWh previously offered. Importantly, battery cells are now being produced without the need for any cobalt or nickel.

Charging rates have increased from an 80kW maximum to 115kW and both AC and DC charging will be possible with a 10 to 80 per cent recharge said to take just 28 minutes for the smaller 56kWh battery and 42 minutes for the biggest 113kWh battery pack.

For the largest battery, the electric range, according to simulations of the WLTP cycle, is up to 400km, while the WLTP city cycle reaches as much as 500km. Those range

claims have been backed-up by Mercedes-Benz who managed a 475km return journey from Stuttgart to Munich during testing on a single charge. The eSprinter averaged a consumption of 21.9kWh per 100km and finished the journey with three per cent still remaining on the range indicator. The verification test was carried out using the largest 113kWh battery but in the biggest L3 wheelbase panel van.

Other notable changes are inside the cabin where the MBUX infotainment system now makes an appearance. The system was omitted from the previous eSprinter to ensure that the van met its range targets, but thanks to larger batteries and greater efficiency the full MBUX system is now included and has been updated with its own EV specific details.

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Mercedes-Benz has updated its eSprinter with new motors and batteries, increasing power and range.

Real-time data on battery charge levels and range will now be displayed on the large 10in screen and a new smart interactive range indicator that links with the navigation will also give far more accurate information on how far your battery charge will take you. It’s part of Mercedes new “Electric Intelligence” software that considers the traffic conditions and typography of your route when predicting the range. It can also calculate the best possible charging strategy to allow you to get to your destination and will even gauge where you need to stop and charge should you need to arrive at your destination with a specified level of charge.

Mercedes-Benz says it has sold more than 30,000 electric vans to date and has pledged to sell only electric and zero emission vehicles from 2025 onwards. That will mean no new combustion engine models will be produced after this date. Instead, a new modular platform is set to be introduced. The van.ea electric vehicle platform will be the basis for the next generation of eSprinter vans, as well as eVito and other passenger models like the V-Class. Merc also recently signed a memorandum of understanding with Rivian and will look to share production costs and processes – for Mercedes this will focus on the scaling up of models built on the new van.ea platform, while Rivian will look to expand their own product range using its Rivian Light Van (RLV) architecture.

Production of this upcoming generation of Mercedes-Benz eSprinter will be carried out in three locations with Charleston in North Carolina, USA, the production

site for all North American vans and two locations, in Ludwigsfelde and Dusseldorf responsible for producing manufacturing chassis-cab variants and panel vans respectively, for Europe.

The hidden costs of electrification are well documented, and we’re not talking about the nasty shock from your energy supplier when the monthly statement lands. Extracting rare raw materials from the earth using methods that not only scar the landscape but often pollute local water courses and other vital animal habitats has long been the secret shame of our quest for Net Zero. Doing so in some of the most impoverished countries in the world with a labour force too young to attend your nearest high school has been another stain on the business of building batteries whether they’re for electric vehicles or consumer electronics.

Like all large companies. Mercedes-Benz knows this and as a result its latest eSprinter will be free from cobalt and nickel to lessen the impact of its production, but as a whole the brand is pushing towards a cleaner future. The Ambition 2039 sustainable business strategy is an overarching aim to make its car and van production CO2 neutral over the entire life of the vehicle. That means a fully electrical vehicle that has had its entire CO2 output in production either neutralised or offset.

The vision begins in earnest in 2025, when all newly-launched vehicles will be electric only, but the process has already begun with electric versions of all models now present in the range. Mercedes estimates the total investment in electric vehicles between 2022 and 2030 will surpass €40bn.

There reductions in CO2 begin at the point of manufacture where steps have already cont.

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“Three different battery sizes are available with 56kWh, 81kWh and 113kWh lithium iron phosphate packs”

been taken to produce CO2 neutral vehicles with new plants designed to allow this using innovative energy concepts including photovoltaic systems, DC power grids and energy storage systems based on reused vehicle batteries.

“We talk about our own green electricity efforts in our production for example. We are already CO2 neutral this year, but of course not totally without doing a [CO2 offset] contribution where we are not capable to do it otherwise. But by increasing the green energy production on site ourselves, we can get those substitutions in other ways, getting emissions down and being like real CO2 neutral in our production,” explains Marcel Minter, Mercedes-Benz Vans head of business and product strategy.

“What is the crucial part for us is that our vans are actually shaping the cityscape. We are aware that our vehicles are important in terms of mobility but many people just think of them as courier and parcel vehicles. If you look at those vehicles, we have refrigerated, bringing goods to restaurants and kindergartens, we have ambulances, we have vehicles taking engineers to your house to repair your washing machine. We are talking a lot about banning vehicles from the city, but we say that’s not the solution – at least not for our vans, because we believe strongly in individual mobility and we want to contribute to that. We want to show what is already possible today and what will be possible in the future because our vans have a role to play,” Minter continues.

From harvesting solar energy on production site roofs, through to recycling everything from wastewater to giving batteries a second life, Mercedes-Benz Vans is looking to minimise its environmental impact and utilise self-made green energy, whilst still producing a vehicle that meets the demands of its customers.

A recent technological study vehicle called the MercedesBenz Sustaineer (a portmanteau of ‘sustainability’ and ‘pioneer’) explored the numerous possibilities of a greener Sprinter van.

From its cast iron brakes with a ceramic coating to reduce the amount of fine particulate emissions, to its use of sustainable materials (natural straw) in the bulkhead,

Mercedes is thinking outside of the box for future materials and their applications. The concept also underlines the fact that improving city air quality will not come from emissions alone.

“We wanted to show that sustainability is much more than just EVs and CO2 reduction,” continues Minter. “We took the current Sprinter as the technical basis and we have added a lot of sustainable features in it to make that tangible. We have for example, just a simple one, added shelfing in the back, as the use case was for a courier and parcel vehicle, out of recycled material. The partner who did that shelving system, they started to think of sustainability in a totally new way with recycled plastic and now they offer their own [sustainable] shelving system now. We have added solar panel, sustainable fabric and fillings for seats. That’s how we think of sustainable logistics in the future.”

While recycled materials and renewable energy make a significant contribution to the production emissions of a vehicle, the ongoing output throughout the life of a van will invariably come under scrutiny. Zero emission vehicles ensure local CO2 emissions are negated but the problem of fine particulates remains and is becoming an increasing problem.

“Of course, another example is the fine dust pollution. Many people think that fine dust is caused by the engine, but it is the brakes, the tyres, and the recirculation from the street. What we did was reduce the fine dust emission of the brakes and the tyres, and then [develop a] systems to the front, into the underbody. By doing so we’re

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• Charging point behind famous badge • Blue logo denotes electric power

capable to filter out between 50 per cent to 200 per cent of its own emissions, depending on the overall pollution. So, if you operate the vehicle in China, the area after it [the van] passed it’s cleaner than before. This is awesome and is something we are now figuring out with the Austrian post – where we do a pilot and testing that filter system in real conditions. We wanted to try that in real driving condition. We’re now figuring out step-by-step, which one of these ideas makes sense. And if that makes sense, is it a business case? In the end it’s about making money, but especially in these sustainability features, we are convinced that they could be a huge differentiator in terms of our competitors. It’s a good USP because we are, more or less, the only premier manufacturer in terms of vans and we set the standard over and over again in terms of safety, and in terms of connectivity, for example. Then we want to set the standard again in sustainability,” Minter explains.

While a giant under-bumper vacuum cleaner might sound a little far-fetched as a means of improving air quality,

Mercedes is pushing the envelope in trying these things. Their use differing materials and innovative systems does set them apart from competitors. As a premium brand it is looking at ways of maintaining that uniqueness and through developing environmentally friendly and sustainable products it is setting itself apart.

“Perhaps there are some features where we don’t make money with the option, but we are the only ones who can offer that to customers and the customers, in terms of sustainability, says okay, that is very important to me. Our target is to get as much sustainable features and materials in as possible, because otherwise we won’t reach our Vision 2039. Our main approach is to get as much sustainability in as possible, as standard.”

Is it then possible that in the future we will see specific sustainable editions of Mercedes vans? Minter thinks not, but does concede it is perhaps something that would work in the passenger car market. Instead, for commercial vehicles, he says he would like to see sustainable materials and features being adopted across all models.

“There could be a way that you mark those sustainability features. So, some materials that are sustainable, they are then not black, but green. That could be a way that people can show that they are thinking in that direction. But for it to work and be sustainable it has to be incorporated into all of the vans,” he adds.

A truly sustainable van may still be a long way off, but Mercedes is making big steps to improve its net CO2 outputs. From the factory to the product, Mercedes vans are not only speaking about ambitious targets but actively chasing them.

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• Solar panels and repurposed batteries help power the plant

From Bentleys to bin lorries

It’s one thing rescuing old

Mk 1 Range Rovers, Jaguar XK120s and Rolls-Royce Phantoms for the privileged few, but for a business to grow it needs volume. Lunaz has realised this, so has expanded its electric vehicle conversion portfolio with Lunaz Applied Technologies (LAT) joining Lunaz Design.

The latter is concerned with the aforementioned classic cars – offering a bespoke service and attention to detail that is second to none. The vehicles take up to 20 months to complete their transformation, often getting to numerous locations all over the world to live their second life. LAT, which is based at a brand-new production facility in Silverstone, will cater for the conversion of refuse trucks at the end of their first lifecycle (and others beyond that, says the company). To start, the facility will see more than 1,000 vehicles run down its two production lines every year. The plan is to use it as a blueprint for other international locations, helping to ensure vehicles get to live a long and prosperous life.

David Lorenz, founder and CEO, Lunaz, has high hopes for not just the Silverstone site facility, but also the wider business model to prevent what he calls ‘carbon postboxing’ – effectively moving products to another part of the world at the end of their first life on the road. “Operators are being asked a lot of regarding meeting emissions targets and we want to enter the market and support them in the right way,” he states. “Upcycling is vital to the future of transportation – we need to put an end to the process of buying and replacing vehicles. If you reuse and recycle, you can improve things one vehicle at a time.”

Lorenz says that beyond the financial conversation, there’s a wider issue at play. “Our vehicles are probably less expensive

than buying a new EV – that’s the actual key fundamental: it’s greener and a less expensive production process,” he maintains. “That means we can save local councils and taxpayers millions, which is essential, but also, the workforce get a higher quality product than many standard vehicles available on the market.

“We’re in touch with around 50 local authorities as well as most of the top 10 private waste management companies in the UK, who are compelled for a number of reasons,” he adds. “Firstly, they see us as a good technical partner and they feel we are doing things in the right way. They also see the functional advantages and technological upgrades that can be tailored to the specific requirements of their fleets. There’s also a really simple performance function as well, which is as much about our engineering as the upcycling process.”

While Lunaz Design is a project-focused business, Lunaz Applied Technologies (LAT) is designed to be a volume production operation, which means there are fewer concerns about having to seek specific components for vehicle and more worries about productivity and efficiency. The timescale from a vehicle entering the facility in its original state to going out of the door as a converted Lunaz truck is 14 days. In that time, a lot of work is done beyond taking out the engine and popping in some batteries.

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First classic cars, now refuse trucks – Lunaz has extended its upcycling credentials with a brand-new production facility.
• UEV design, development and technology change • Lunaz factory

“The overall goal is to improve the overall quality of the base vehicle,” says Lorenz. “Fundamentally, each refuse truck is stripped down, before all the components are assessed, the chassis is shot-blasted and then we stress test it for fractures, etc. It is then painted and rebuilt with all of the original moving components – such as air lines, airbags, suspension, brakes as new and then we start the rebuilding process because everything is done on the production line.”

Lunaz says it has adopted a modular approach when it comes to the 65.5kW battery packs being offered for the refuse truck. “We’ve gone for four different options for battery pack size because we don’t believe that it’s a ‘one size fits all’ solution, even for vehicles that might be doing the same job,” says Lorenz. “By specifying the correct capacity for the application, you are increasing the efficiency but also lowering the weight of the battery pack and vehicle overall, which improves the payload.”

The shift to EV propulsion is obviously a big step, so its encouraging to hear that with a four-battery setup, the overall gross vehicle weight is on a par with a standard ICE vehicle. A six-battery setup makes it a more expensive proposition, but also impacts vehicle payload – an important element in the commercial vehicle world, although

less so with refuse collection than, say, long-haul delivery trucks.

Stepping into any electric vehicle should be a pleasant experience – and the challenge in achieving that goal in an upcycled refuse truck is one that Lunaz relishes. No, the vehicle might not have the same bespoke elements that are seen in the products that leave the Lunaz Design facility down the road, but the approach of putting the user first is paramount within the whole operation.

As such, the refurbishment process is thorough, with pipes, harnesses and other elements upgraded as well as the materials around them to prolong the life of the core components.

Inside is where drivers can expect to see the biggest differences over a standard ICE refuse truck.

“We want to reduce the friction in the industry and work with them to find solutions to make driving these vehicles easier and more enjoyable,” says Lorenz. “That approach includes replacing wing mirrors with cameras and making the centre seat of the refuse truck more comfortable because we’d had complaints from users that it was the most uncomfortable seat in the truck.”

But the creature comforts don’t stop there. The revised interior features multiple touchscreens, Apple CarPlay connectivity, camera displays and a

new HVAC design featuring a fresh approach to the vents and controls, compared with the donor MercedesBenz Econic truck. An onboard thermal management system recycles the heat and turns it into extra energy for the truck, while there is the option of heated seats across all four of the spaces in the cab. Another functional improvement is the re-positioning of the handbrake to the right of the driver. Having observed fleets in action, Lunaz engineers realised that it was safer to have the control on that side, rather than in the centre. Most of the cabin plastics can be carried over, ensuring that wastage is minimised in the conversion process.

‘If it can be re-used, make sure it is,’ seems to be the big principle for Lunaz. On the outside of the truck, there are charging points at the rear, on both the left- and right-hand sides. The front grille has been fettled to include four LEDs, indicating the states of charge. They shine either green, amber or red, according to how much charge is onboard.

“What gets us really excited is how the business can scales because the remanufacturing is recorded, measured and audited,” explains Lorenz. “That means we can copy and paste factories like this around the world. And that’s how this business will grow from 1,100 units here to many more all over the world. However, this will always be its home – it’s the data engineering hub, the master facility, the blueprint!”

issue 5 | destination net zero 29
• UEV interior design • Lunaz Founder David Lorenz and investor David Beckham

Snow but no ICE

We head to Norway to find out.

For the naysayers,

the cold weather has always proven to be something of a fallback argument to prove they have some kind of point. That multimillion-pound South American footballer who’s just joined the Premier League…. Sure, he’s good. But can he do it on a cold Monday night in Stoke?

The answer is that of course he can, and those hundreds of thousand-pound electric tractor units can do it too.

But we’ve not come to Stoke to find out if electric trucks can hack it in the cold. We’ve come to Norway, to Scania’s Winter Wonderland extravaganza – a mammoth multi-week customer experience. In short, an icy, cold, snow-covered playground for anything with a Scania badge. Including their latest range of electric trucks.

Not only does Norway regularly experience weeks of the mercury being in negative double digits at a time, it’s also the world leader in electric vehicles. If any country is in the know about EVs, it’s the Norwegians. Battery-electric vehicles accounted for just under 80 per cent of the market for all new vehicles and while most are cars, Norway is also currently the world’s largest market for electric heavy commercial-vehicles. The numbers are small and one big fleet deal could probably swing that statistic in favour of another ambitiously carbon neutral country with the swipe of a pen, but Norway is at the forefront of electrification.

In a sub-zero landscape with a western outcrop of mountains high enough to make a professional cyclist consider putting in a call to Lance Armstrong, Norway is a challenging place to operate, and even using vehicles with a combustion engine. But how does a battery electric truck fare in these conditions?

If you’ve ever been out in the cold for an extended period and seen the battery level of your mobile phone plummet precariously, you’ll know that batteries and cold weather don’t go well together. Charging in these conditions is the biggest elephant in the room, but there are also several others. Cold temperatures affect range as the battery can store less energy, but cold air is also more dense and therefore harder to drive through than warmer air. Ice and snow also create more wheel-slippage. That increases the amount of energy needed to maintain momentum and power is lost through spinning wheels. There are also cold fluids that need heating, increasing the draw on the heating systems and zapping life from the already underperforming batteries.

In a nutshell, it’s a perfect storm of rangedestroying what-ifs, and potential energy consuming howlers.

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Jack Sunderland

Yet, there’s a way of doing it properly, and the Scandinavians and the scores of operators who are already using battery-electric HGVs across the Nordics know that going about running these vehicles in the right way is the key. For the right operation, it’s also not that much of a change to ordinary working practices to integrate one of these vehicles into your operation.

The key is to prepare the vehicle before starting out. Unlike starting your diesel vehicle ahead of setting off on a cold day, it’s not just about clearing the ice off the windows. Pre-conditioning in an electric truck is just about the most vital action of the entire day. Set the truck up ready to work, and it’ll almost (discounting the air and increased rolling resistance factors that diesel trucks are also subjected to) perform just like an ICE vehicle.

Pre-conditioning not only heats the cabin to give you a nice, comfortable operating temperature to drive in, it also heats the battery cells and prepares the high voltage system for work. Without doing so, the first several hours of operation can be spent simply warning the systems.

Batteries need to have an operating temperature of around 25C to be at their most efficient. A cold start from minus temperatures is going to drain a serious amount of energy from a battery, and with truck batteries being far larger than your average electric car’s the power used is significant.

Heating the cabin of a car or truck will typically consume as much as 6kW per hour of use. High-powered heaters warm our fingers and bottoms which is why power demands are so great, but the batteries need a similar amount of heating. Around 6kW per hour is required to heat the large batteries on a truck. If the vehicle is left unplugged overnight, and unable to pre-condition itself before departure, within the early stages of starting your

journey your valuable battery charge is being eaten up just to get the vehicle to a baseline it would normally be at in the summer months.

In cold temperatures, the energy storage capacity of the battery also decreases by as much as 30 per cent. Factor in cold temperatures that may remain throughout the day of operation and the heating system is constantly working to maintain that optimal 25C temperature when the elements are against it. You could be looking at more than a 40 per cent loss of range simply by being in the cold. Preconditioning does at least negate that battle to build heat, by starting you and the vehicle off nice and warm.

As for the rest of the EV driving experience, well, it’s not unlike a driving an artic or rigid in our inclement weather. With the right tyres, there’s very little to write home about. The instant torque of an electric truck, if deployed too quickly can cause sudden and overly exaggerated interference from the traction control but it’s otherwise a hassle-free affair. One noticeable benefit of an EV over a combustion engine in such slippery conditions is the absence of gear changes.

The latest battery-electric Scania we experienced was a P series regional distribution prototype with a new six-speed transmission and despite having four more gears than the urban models also on offer pushed through its changes in such a rapid and effortless manner that you hardly noticed any loss of power in the driveline. Contrast this to an ICE vehicle where the gearbox is working overtime flicking between at least twice as many ratios, and BEV driving on ice suddenly seems a lot less difficult. Without the pausing in power between changes the BEV is free to power its way up an incline in even the most treacherous conditions, and with a properly pre-conditioned cabin before starting out, there’s no reason why you couldn’t thoroughly enjoy a shift in a battery electric truck even in these conditions. Or for that matter even on a cold night in Stoke-on-Trent.

issue 5 | destination net zero 31

If you’re thinking of buying a new vehicle, why go to the cost of fitting an external tracker...


We now offer a point-to-point service that provides GPS tracking for electric vehicles. We connect directly with the vehicle manufacturer’s embedded trackers to provide up-to-the-minute data on your vehicle’s health!

NewFlexiSDTDashcamCanBeOptimised3DifferentWays! ProvidingaTotallyFlexibleSafetySolution!


• No installation costs

• No hardware costs

• All dashboard vehicle warning signals picked up through the data and displayed on our platform

• EV battery range, charging duration

• Charging locations identified







• Connections to most vehicle manufacturers are now available!


• Daily trip replay and history

This is just one part of our extensive range of services which completes the loop of safety and monitoring products for the commercial and Public Sector markets.

Uniquely tailored to your specific business requirements, our professional teams ensure that you get the information that you need to see! To find out more, contact our team today on 0845 468 0812 or visit our website


Mercedes-Benz eActros

you have electric vehicles in your fleet? safe | smart | efficient | compliant
safe|smart|efficient|compliant RE-TechUK
SType:ForwardFacingCameraRecording DType:Forward&InCabCameraRecording TType:Forward,InCab&RearCameraRecording TheFlexiSDTDashcamCanAlso BeAvailablewithADAS! ForwardCollisionWarning TooCloseWarning 32 destination net zero | issue 5 VISIT: “The journey towards a cleaner transport world has started. Join us for Destination Net Zero.” E battery van round-up DAF LF driven in UK Scania transition volta zero first drive VEHICLES - MICROGRIDS - LOW EMISSIONS - RENEWABLES E SUSTAINABILITY-ENERGY-ENVIRONMENT-FUEL
THE NEW GOUPIL G6 100% ELECTRIC ZERO EMISSIONS Building electric utility vehicles for 25 years, the latest and the largest model in the range offers a generous payload of up to 1,050kg for the pick-up and an impressive 9m3 for the cage body. With a vast array of body options, the Goupil G6 is suitable for various business needs and applications whilst delivering environmental and sustainable operations. Designed to fulfil everyday tasks, the 100% electric G6 comes with a 28.8kWh lithium battery providing a 93-mile range.* SALES@BRADSHAWEV.COM | 01780 782 621 WWW.BRADSHAWEV.COM/GOUPIL-ROAD-VEHICLES *Range measured in accordance with the Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP)

Our industry can be physically and mentally tough. Together with our partners and supporters, the Lighthouse Construction Industry Charity are working night and day to ensure that no construction worker or their family feels alone in a crisis. So if you or a workmate need support, we are always here to help.

Registered Charity No. UK 1149488 | Registered Charity No. ROI 20200334.Company No. 08244118 | Copyright Lighthouse Construction Industry Charity 2021.
He was our big mouth - he’d always have an answer for everything, except for why he should still be here.


We promise to be by your side every step of the way. From initial operations analysis and planning, through to implementation and long term ongoing operation; ensuring you have a charging solution that can scale as your fleet grows. It’s another way that our alternate powertrains are driving the shift towards a sustainable transport system.


© Copyright Scania (Great Britain) Limited 2023. All rights reserved. Scania (Great Britain) Limited. Registered in England No: 831017. Registered Office: Delaware Drive, Tongwell, Milton Keynes, MK15 8HB.






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