Potter Logistics has bought two Fuso Canter Hybrids.

Potter Logistics has bought two Fuso Canter Hybrids.

Yorkshire-based Potter Logistics is the first third-party UK logistics company to purchase the 7.5 tonne Fuso Eco Canter Hybrid.

Potter has bought two of the diesel-electric vehicles for its Palletline operations in and around York city centre.

Nick Brightey, general manager of Potter Logistics’ transport division and York DC, said the vehicles should offer a 23% fuel saving over the standard diesel model and 30% over the vehicles it has been using for the same job.

“We fully expect to realise the promised savings. The cost of the hybrid over the standard Canter is £7,000 and we expect payback in about four years, but we may decide we won't replace it for six or seven years.”

It offers other advantages too, said Brightey. “It can carry 3.7 tonnes, an unheard of payload. It gives us the ability to carry more pallets on a smaller vehicle so it could mean only going into York two times instead of three.”

Future proof

Brightey said he was reassured by the ten-year warranty on the battery and on initial indications of eventual resale values. The promise of quieter, cleaner deliveries is another plus. Up to 7mph the electric motor directly drives the wheels, making it quieter, he said. “It's like a milk float at low speeds.”

Brightey said he hoped the low noise and low emissions of vehicles like this may one day give them access to out-of-bounds city centre areas, such as pedestrian zones, offering further operational advantages.

Potter, which last year acquired York based logistics and pallet network operator House of James, has also taken on 10 Mercedes Actros 2545 tractor units and 22 SDC trailers to serve its growing transport business.

By Andrew Stone