West Horsley Dairy has taken a FUSO Canter Eco Hybrid truck with a powerless refrigeration system.
The vehicle has a diesel-electric drivetrain that offers valuable fuel savings and correspondingly lower CO2 emissions, compared to a standard diesel-engined vehicle.
Meanwhile, instead of a traditional air blown fridge, its insulated body is chilled by a highly reliable eutectic system that does not require a power source while deliveries are being made, so produces no carbon or noise pollution.
The 7.5-tonne chassis was supplied by local Mercedes-Benz Dealer Rossetts Commercials.
The model’s 110 kW (150 hp) diesel engine works in parallel with a state-of-the-art, slimline, 40 kW (54 hp) electric motor. Having set off using electric power alone, the vehicle switches to a combination of diesel and electric operation once a speed of around 6 mph (10 km/h) has been reached. Depending on the power demand, the electric motor also supports the diesel at higher speeds. Switches between modes are seamless and require no input from the driver.
The vehicle’s insulated body was built by Jackson Coachworks, of Loughborough, and features a ‘eistechnik’ eutectic refrigeration system. Eutectic refrigeration is based on the principle of latent heat – a special gel is frozen down to the required temperature at the depot overnight, then, while deliveries are made the following day, gives out energy as it thaws in the form of cold air, thus refrigerating the area around it.
Philip Colton, managing director, said: “By investing in this innovative new vehicle not only are we demonstrating our own responsibility to the environment, but we are also supporting customers who are constantly looking to increase the sustainability of their own operations. The truck is going into the City every day and after just two weeks on the road has already created enormous interest.
“Given the short distance, stop-start nature of the work, and the traffic congestion in London, it’s never going to be the most fuel-efficient of delivery routes,” continued Colton.
“But following the driver-training delivered by Rossetts, we’re definitely starting to see improved mpg figures compared to the vehicle that was on the same job previously.”