Fleet News

Electric LDV vans on trial with demanding fleets

TRIALS of battery-powered LDV Convoy vans fitted with an on-board recharging unit are to be conducted by Merseytravel and the Royal Mail. With new technology removing the need for expensive roadside charging units, the trials have been heralded as the most significant for encouraging the use of electric vehicles by UK fleets.

Three vehicles equipped with EA Technology's Wavedriver fast-charging and power management system will join Merseytravel's utility fleet on trial and in two months' time two of those vehicles will be tested in London by the Royal Mail for six months in London.

The trials will be the first time that operational tests have been carried out on panel van battery-powered vehicles which, says EA Technology, offer performance that is comparable with conventionally-powered vehicles and a range of about 50 miles.

The trial is part of a Powershift programme agreed and part-funded by the Energy Saving Trust to confirm the suitability of Wavedriver for commercial and public service vehicles. If approved, Wavedriver-equipped vehicles will be added to Powershift's register of low-emission models and will go into full commercial production.

Royal Mail head of fleet Mike Horlor said: 'The Wavedriver LDV will join our London fleet and will carry out delivery duties under arduous working conditions. Wavedriver technology shows excellent promise in advancing the practicality of electric vehicles and we will be studying very closely its real-world performance and potential costs.'

The Royal Mail's fleet - 28,000 vehicles - is a regular test-bed for alternatively-fuelled vehicles and it presently operates a nine-vehicle electric van fleet.

The only electric vehicles presently on the Powershift register are the Peugeot 106 and Partner and Citroen Berlingo and Jonathan Murray, head of transport projects at the Energy Saving Trust, said: 'A lot of fleets are expressing a great deal of interest in electric delivery vans of this size. Because the Wavedriver technology removes the need for roadside recharging infrastructure the trials represent a big step forward for electric vehicles in the UK.'

Leave a comment for your chance to win £20 of John Lewis vouchers.

Every issue of Fleet News the editor picks his favourite comment from the past two weeks – get involved for your chance to appear in print and win!

Login to comment


  • malcolm mummery - 13/10/2016 16:40

    i was extremely disappointed when l.d.v.vans were closed down especially as they were pioneering electric vans and appeared to be leading the way. Its funny how the Chinese can take our failed companies and turn them around and sell the products we used to make back to us . does not anybody question this?

Compare costs of your company cars

Looking to acquire new vehicles? Check how much they'll cost to run with our Car Running Cost calculator.

What is your BIK car tax liability?

The Fleet News car tax calculator lets you work out tax costs for both employer and employee