Following an extensive two-year trial period, running a 7.5t Zeroed electric truck from Paneltex in the London area, major foodservice supplier Fresh Direct (UK) Ltd placed an order with Paneltex at this year’s CV Show for two new 5.5t Zeroed electric trucks that will be used for supplying customers in and around the Oxford area.
Operating a fleet of over 200 refrigerated trucks nationwide, this move to electric vehicles represents a significant change for Fresh Direct, as Nick Allen, head of business improvement at the company, explains, "For some while now, we have been monitoring the performance of this trial vehicle, as we are serious about looking at alternative solutions to traditional vehicles for operating environments such as London and Oxford, where travelling distances are relatively low and environmental issues are paramount."
The two new electric vehicles from Paneltex will be supplied to Fresh Direct (UK) on a four-year contract and both the vehicles will be based on the 5.5t Isuzu 4×2 chassis cab, and will be fitted with 14 ft refrigerated single compartment Paneltex bodies, running with a ThermoKing electric refrigeration system.
At the signing of the contract between the two companies at the CV Show, Chris Berridge, managing director at Paneltex said, "The low daily mileage for these vehicles meant that we were able to reduce the overall weight of the vehicle by installing reduced capacity batteries which enabled us to maintain the payload capability needed for this type of operation. The original electric vehicle we supplied to Fresh Direct has had a successful two-year working life in London and we are now pleased to see that Fresh Direct wish to develop this programme of electric vehicles with us for this new vehicle order."