A Green Future

By Maria Hadlow30 January 2012

At the end of 2009 Time launched its first all-electric truck mounted platforms. The first 3.5t GVW units use the Edison chassis produced at the time by Tanfield Group's electric vehicle division, Smith Electric Vehicles (SEV).

Although Per Torp says he still firmly believes in the green principals he feel the all electric machine was a bit ahead of its time.

"The 100% electric chassis and lift is hard combination to make appealing at the moment to a wide customer base. Although there are several machines in Denmark, France and the UK," he said.

For the machines to be appealing Mr Torp thinks you need lots of jobs close together in a small radius area. The infrastructure and charging facilities are not widely enough available to make the machines more generally appealing.

"The hybrid machines are a much bigger success," he says "using new technology in battery systems with an AC motor driven pump system and long life lithium ion batteries for the lift, we reduce pollution and noise."

The ESB Electric Supply Board in Ireland is committed to "keeping it green" and has been a big customer of the hybrids.

Mr Torp thinks that in the future there will be chassis and vans with enough payload for a lift but driven by a small diesel engine, "The type of technology being used hybrid cars transferred to commercial vehicle."

In the past the focus has been on pollution but noise is just as important in built up areas. Time is watching the market and keeping up with the technology but Mr Torp believes that the financial crisis has put environmental issues in the back seat, "there is lots of talking but little action," he said.

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