Making electric more versatile

Making electric more versatile

It may only sell in small numbers on local shores, but in Europe the Peugeot Partner rocks!

According to Peugeot, its new Partner Tepee Electric is a van-based people carrier that offers comfort for five passengers with a generous, flexible interior, which has been developed for the growing clientele wanting to reconcile electric mobility with a multiplicity of everyday activities; whether personal, professional or both.

Set to be launched this March at the 2017 Geneva International Motor Show, the Partner Tepee Electric will join the existing Partner Electric Van.

Despite its electric-drive componentry, cargo volume is among the best in its category, with up to 1 350 litres with five passengers, and 3 000 litres with two passengers and the seats in the second row removed.

It has a certified range of 170 km, but for added peace of mind the new Peugeot Partner Tepee Electric offers features that can be remotely controlled from a smartphone or tablet; including the ability to see the battery charge, estimate the duration of the recharge, and program the heating or air-conditioning.

The new vehicle is also claimed to be about 30-percent less costly to run than an internal-combustion vehicle. Its traction battery is guaranteed for eight years or 100 000 km, and its electric power chain is guaranteed for five years or 50 000 km. Maintenance is due every two years, or 40 000 km after the first year.

Furthermore, the energy cost per kilometre of electric recharging is about four times less than that of fuel for an internal combustion vehicle.

Gear up for NACV

The inaugural North American Commercial Vehicle Show (NACV), taking place from September 25 to 28, is off to a cracking start and heading for a packed house.

Gear up for NACVAtlanta, Georgia, will be certainly abuzz with all things commercial vehicle during September, as, by the end of 2016, approximately 70 percent of the show’s exhibition space had already been snapped up.

Some of the big names include: Daimler Trucks North America, Navistar, Volvo Trucks and Mack Trucks; trailer manufacturers include: Great Dane, Utility, Hyundai and Manac; while suppliers include: Continental, Meritor, Eaton, SAF Holland and DANA.

“The inaugural show is off to a very promising start,” says president and CEO of Hannover Fairs United States of America, Larry Turner. “We expect to fully book all of the exhibition space, as the North American commercial vehicle industry has responded favourably to this dynamic new event and how we have positioned it to meet the industry’s evolving needs.”

All visitors to the biennial NACV Show will be able to explore the latest commercial vehicle products on display.

Ford prioritises electric

Ford has released details on seven of the 13 new global electric vehicles (EVs) it plans to introduce in the next five years. The brand’s commercial vehicles feature prominently; including hybrid versions of the iconic F-150 pickup, and a plug-in hybrid Transit Custom van.

The moves are part of a US$ 4,5-billion (R58,8 billion) investment in EVs by 2020, offering customers greater fuel efficiency, capability and power across Ford’s global vehicle line-up.

Ford prioritises electricThe hybrid version of the best-selling F-150 pickup will be available by 2020 and sold in North America and the Middle East. The F-150 Hybrid, built at Ford’s Dearborn Truck Plant, will offer powerful towing and payload capacity and operate as a mobile generator.

A Transit Custom plug-in hybrid will be made available in Europe in 2019. It is engineered to help reduce operating costs in even the most congested streets, the company says.

Ford begins testing its new generation of EV technology this year. In Europe, the company intends to put the Transit Custom plug-in hybrid on the road, along with a new set of mobility services, telematics and connectivity solutions.

In addition, Ford is testing a fleet of 20 Transit Connect hybrid taxi and van prototypes in some of the world’s most demanding traffic conditions in several major American cities. These build on the success of the world’s first hybrid taxi – the Ford Escape Hybrid.

“Ford’s global EV strategy is to build on our strengths,” says Raj Nair, executive vice president, product development, and chief technical officer. “This means more capability for trucks and more productivity for commercial vehicles – plus improved fuel economy.”

Tomorrow’s trucks, today

The Mercedes-Benz Urban eTruck made its debut last year, and the first (low-volume) production vehicles are about to be delivered to their new custodians.

Tomorrow’s trucks, todayThe company is bringing the world´s first all-electric, heavy-duty truck to market in a small series, with 20 potential German customers involved in the disposal, food and beverage and logistics sectors set to take delivery and pave the way towards series production by 2020.

“It will be used in real transportation applications. The aim is to use actual application scenarios and requirement profiles together with feedback from the customers, to further optimise the vehicle concept and the system configurations of the electric truck. The tests will include use in shift operation, charging times as well as battery and range management,” says Stefan Buchner, head of Mercedes-Benz Trucks worldwide.

Both 18- and 25-t models will be equipped with a refrigerated body, as a dry box body and as a platform vehicle. Together with a special charger, which takes into account the increased demands on a truck, the vehicles will be handed over to the customers to use for a period of 12 months.

They will be supported by the Mercedes-Benz Trucks road-testing department. During this time, the use profiles and areas of application will be recorded and compared to the expected performance of the vehicles.

Kind of a big deal

Iveco has signed an agreement with the Lannutti Group for 610 New Stralis XP and NP trucks.

International transport and logistics operators work on a different level to those in South Africa. Take this deal, for instance…

Kind of a big dealEstablished more than 50 years ago, the Lannutti Group has an ambition to source the most innovative green technologies and, in partnership with Iveco, has opted for “the most fuel-efficient truck available on the European market” – the Stralis XP – as well as “the first natural-gas truck suitable for long-distance missions” – the Stralis NP.

The Stralis XP is fitted with the Iveco Cursor 11 engines, which vary from 343 to 358 kW (460 to 480 hp). These specific model types were chosen by the Lannutti Group for their ability to reduce fuel consumption and maximise payload.

The New Stralis NP model will also be supplied. It is equipped with an Iveco Cursor 9 engine with a dual liquefied natural gas tank, which guarantees a fuel range of up to
1 500 km!

“This is one of the most important European agreements in terms of vehicle numbers – 610 New Stralis in the XP and NP versions, both of which are winning solutions for sustainable transport,” comments Pierre Lahutte, Iveco brand president.

An outstanding reputation

Daimler commercial vehicle brands once again secured first place in five categories at the Image Awards 2017, hosted by freight forwarding, transport and logistics magazine VerkehrsRundschau.

This was the fourth time in a row that the Mercedes-Benz brand has been honoured with the Image Awards for Trucks and Vans, while it also won in the categories of Telematics, Rental/Leasing and Fuel Cards.

An outstanding reputationThe Image Awards honour the activities of the company to offer the best commercial vehicles and services in the areas of efficiency, safety and networking. Mercedes-Benz has excelled in all these categories…

Its Actros, for example, achieves up to six-percent fuel savings with the latest efficiency package. When it comes to safety, Mercedes-Benz is the first provider to offer the Sideguard Assist and the new Active Brake Assist 4 with pedestrian detection.

Furthermore, with telematics-based internet services, Daimler FleetBoard supports fleet operators of commercial vehicles to manage their vehicles more economically. In practice, this translates into fuel savings of up to 15 percent and optimised vehicle and trip utilisation, says the company.

What is the result? Yet another award and Daimler’s services also having been deemed “top class” according to the 500 surveyed logistics decision-makers from German industrial and commercial enterprises.


Global FOCUS is a monthly update of international news relating to the commercial vehicle industry. It is compiled exclusively for FOCUS by Frank Beeton of Econometrix.

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