ECanter_Wincanton_Credit Daimler

The boss of Wincanton has praised the Fuso eCanter, describing it as the “first commercially viable” electric truck and pledging to add more to the 3PL’s home delivery fleet.

Following a press event in March at the old Evening Standard print works in Surrey Quays, where Wincanton, DPD and Hovis were unveiled as the first UK operators running the all-electric vehicle, chief executive Adrian Colman he would look to add more.

Wincanton currently has five 7.5-tonne eCanters on the road, which are being used for home delivery in London and the South East, and more will be phased in when were available.

“They will be ideal for running into London. They have zero emissions, are fully electric, and are good for a couple of hundred kilometres range,” said Colman.

“The electric vehicles work in the urban environment and tie into our own sustainability profile and the retailers’ we work with, where they are looking at emissions in urban areas,” he said.

Colman said that as the design of the electric powered model, including running gear, was consistent with that of the diesel variant, cost of ownership was not an issue and the trucks will run as the same cost as the others.

The eCanters, which have a 3-tonne payload, are used on a deliver and return to base basis where they are then charged.

“These vehicles are a key part of our innovation roadmap, and our growth plan for the future of urban distribution transport at Wincanton,” Colman said.

UPS was named as the first commercial partner for the Damiler developed eCanter last year. The truck is being made in Portugal and Daimler hopes to deliver 500 eCanter units to businesses in the US, Europe and Japan by the end of this year, before ramping up production in 2019.

Image: Daimler