Wholesaler Bidfood has opted for the FUSO eCanter as its electric truck of choice as its presses ahead with future-proofing its business.

The 7.5-tonne eCanter was delivered to the foodservice firm in 2020 but plans to put it to work were curtailed by Covid, subsequent lockdowns and then the fallout from the pandemic.

It has now been assigned to Bidfood’s Battersea depot from where it delivers to customers in central London, typically covering 60-70 km each day.

The eCanter is the first to be fitted with a temperature-controlled body, which was built by Gray & Adams and is cooled by a Frigoblock eutectic refrigeration system.

This chills the insulated twin-compartment box as the eCanter’s main drive batteries are being recharged, rather than draining them of energy while the vehicle is on the road.

Jon Stansfield, depot manager, said: “Like all transport operators working in London we face the reality of emissions-based restrictions.

“These are only going to get stricter, with similar regimes becoming more widespread throughout the country.

“Battery technology is still in its infancy and obviously an electric vehicle cannot compete with a diesel-engined truck in terms of range, especially when fitted with a heavy fridge body.

“The eCanter offers other attributes, though.

“Of course, from a business perspective it’s important that we future-proof our operation against further regulations.

“There is also a moral dimension to this issue,” Stansfield added. “The fact that electric vehicles like the eCanter are so much cleaner and quieter means they can only benefit the wider community, and not just our company and customers.”