Sainsbury's, one of the largest grocery chains in Europe, has been testing a fleet of Smith Electric delivery vans for several years and has now decided to go electric with the majority of it's London metropolitan delivery fleet. The grocery conglomerate has just ordered fifty additional (for a total of seventy) three and a half ton Smith Edison vans, making itself the current world leader in EV produce-transport.
The 3.5 ton Edison, built around a Ford Transit chassis, normally has a top speed of 50 mph in order to maximize the range to 100 miles per battery charge. Sainsbury's however, has ordered it's vehicles customized to be speed-limited to 40 mph and with a 60 mile range and a special fast-charging capability. No doubt these specs have proven to be sufficient and will make the grocery conglomerate's purchasing dollars go farther.
The Edison can haul up to 2,600 pounds with rapid acceleration, no emissions and little noise, making it ideal for inner city cartage. The first deliveries of the new vans are due in March.
Interestingly, although a collaborative effort between U.S. Ford and Smith electric vehicles recently fell apart (Smith is currently expanding into the U.S. market) the partnership between Smith and Ford of Europe continues to flourish, with Ford mechanicals serving as the framework for several popular Smith commercial EV's.