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A-Plant Plugs In To Electric Vehicles

Leading equipment rental company, A-Plant, is introducing the world's first high performance electric van into its delivery fleet.

The Edison, designed and built by Smith Electric Vehicles, is based on the iconic Ford Transit body shell - but is one hundred per cent battery powered. The A-Plant model has a 90 kW motor, providing fast acceleration and a top speed of 50 mph, with two suitcase-sized Sodium Nickel Chloride batteries producing a range of up to 100 miles on one charge.

A-Plant has purchased its first Edison for trials in its rental equipment delivery fleet in London. The test vehicle is part of A-Plant's commitment to reduce emissions from its delivery fleet.

Designed for intra-city applications, the Smith Edison is the only high performance electric vehicle with a Gross Vehicle Weight of under 3,500 kg - this is crucial as it means that anyone with a regular UK driving licence can get behind the wheel. A-Plant is the first company in its sector to deploy an all-electric van with these high specifications.

Shaun Winstanley, Director of Transport for A-Plant, said: "A-Plant is dedicated to examining every opportunity to reduce its carbon footprint.

"Electric vehicles such as the Smith Edison have the potential to significantly lower the environmental impact of our equipment deliveries and collections, while also providing a benefit to our bottom line."

As a pure electric vehicle, Edison qualifies for free Road Fund Licence - and exemption from the London Congestion Charge - plus lower "fuel" and maintenance costs. This all adds up to an attractive whole life cost proposition.

Smith Electric Vehicles, based in North East England, manufactures a range of electric vans and trucks, with Gross Vehicle Weights from 3,500 kg to 12,000 kg. This includes Newton, the world's largest battery powered truck.

Kevin Harkin, Sales Director of Smith Electric Vehicles, said: "Taken over a typical five year vehicle life, our vehicles are considerably cheaper than the diesel equivalent.

"This calculation is based on diesel prices at the pump remaining stable, which is not going to happen. Every time oil prices increase, our electric vehicles become a more attractive proposition to commercial fleet operators."