An electric range-extended low-emission 7.5 tonne delivery vehicle made its public debut at the CV Show last week, attracting an "over-whelming positive response” according to its maker.

Tevva Motors, (originally Teva Motors) was set up by Israeli entrepreneur Asher Bennett in 2012 to develop an electric range-extended 7.5-tonne truck. The prototype, competed in January, attracted “lots of interest and an over-whelming positive response” at the CV Show, according to Tevva’s business project manager Richard Lidstone-Scott.

Claiming pure battery-electric trucks are hamstrung by limited range, Lidstone-Scott said Tevva’s range-extended driveline makes an electric 7.5-tonner operationally viable and commercially attractive. It involves a pair of lithium-ion batteries, mains- charged overnight, powering an electric traction motor with reduction gearbox.This drives the truck’s standard rear axle via a shortened prop-shaft.

The batteries alone provide a range of up to 130km, but a 1.6-litre Ford diesel engine charges the batteries too, typically during the stem part of the route into an urban delivery area where the truck would run in zero-emission mode solely on battery power, returning to base with the diesel engine charging again. A predictive energy management system determines the best use of the diesel engine to deliver optimum battery performance. This strategy is reckoned to prolong battery life to around 10 years, give virtually unlimited daily range and make best use of cheap overnight electricity for charging.

The driveline is supplied by Magtec of Sheffield and the two lithium-ion battery packs come from another UK company, Goodwolfe. Brentwood, Essex-based Tevva installs the driveline into a Chinese-built JAC chassis- cab. The vehicle is priced at £40-£50,000 (excluding battery lease and body) but its total cost of ownership over a 10-year life is claimed to 25% less than a conventional 7.5-tonner’s. The weight of the batteries reduces payload to around 2 tonnes.

The prototype is about to start durability testing at Millbrook. Tevva is currently converting a Mercedes Vario-based parcel delivery truck for UPS, replacing its Euro-3 diesel powertrain with the range-extended battery system. This is destined to return to service with UPS for trials in the South East.