One of Isuzu’s first 5-tonne electric trucks, currently in operation with online supermarket Ocado, featured at this year’s historic ‘Cart Marking’ ceremony in the City of London. As part of a 40-strong parade and vehicle drive-past, the Isuzu ‘Forward’ 5-tonne electric truck received its official marking in the presence of the Rt Hon Lord Mayor of London, the Sheriff of London and other City officers.
Two Isuzu ‘Forward’ vehicles have been in service for Ocado over the past three months, delivering to London customers predominantly within noise-sensitive areas around the White City area.
"The Cart Marking ceremony is a prestigious annual event within the City of London calendar and it was fitting that one of our quiet, new electric trucks had a starring role" said Keith Child, Marketing Director at Isuzu Truck (UK) Limited.
Ocado’s Isuzu N-series 5-tonner is a fully electric vehicle with zero emissions. It is fully automatic because it does not use a conventional gearbox – this feature really helps to reduce driver fatigue in traffic-intensive areas. Power is supplied from permanent on-board batteries that simply require an overnight charge in preparation for the following day’s work.
Ocado has been trialling the Isuzu ‘Forward’ range at 5.0 tonnes GVW – a departure from the norm, as they usually operate 3.5-tonne vehicles for their extensive home delivery applications.
Keith Child adds: "The extra weight of the batteries would leave very little payload on a standard 3.5-tonne vehicle. The new Isuzu ‘hexapod’ design cab doesn’t compromise the vehicle’s physical overall dimensions, a point that is very crucial to the Ocado operation. Furthermore our 5.0 tonne electric truck gives Ocado a vehicle with a better payload than the 3.5-tonne diesel versions that they currently use. So we’ve ticked all the right boxes, the 5.0 tonners are environmentally friendly and this fits well with Ocado’s unique, sustainable distribution model."
This Isuzu 5-tonne electric truck was built in partnership with Paneltex (Hull), manufacturers of the all-electric drive-train and refrigerated body.
The Cart Marking ceremony at the Guildhall in London is a time-honoured tradition, maintained by The Worshipful Company of Carmen. Selective vehicles, representing the history of transport, are branded with a red-hot iron on a wooden plate; also carrying a unique vehicle number and the Carmen arms. The ceremony acts as a reminder of centuries of service by transport organisations to the City of London.