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DHL Dept Stores & Fashion commissions high performance electric vehicle

Apr '07
DHL Exel Supply Chain has commissioned the world's largest high performance electric vehicle and its first zero carbon emission truck built almost entirely of recyclable materials. The purchase of this new vehicle further supports the company's environmental policy and highlights DHL's commitment to long-term sustainability.

DHL's Department Stores and Fashion division has commissioned the vehicle which was first initiated by the DHL Engineering services. Both will officially unveil the zero carbon emission Newton vehicle, designed and built by Smith Electric Vehicles, in April 2007. It will be fitted with a unique aerodynamic body by Cartwright Ltd. With a Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW) of 9 tonnes, the Smith Newton will be the world's largest higher function electric vehicle.

The Newton truck incorporates the latest battery and drive train technology for a high performance vehicle. It has five, suitcase-sized Sodium Nickel Chloride batteries, which are far lighter than lead acid batteries and have three times the energy density.

This greater power capacity provides the Newton with fast acceleration, a top speed of 50mph and the ability to cover over 100 miles on a single battery charge. Recharge of these new technology batteries only takes between six to eight hours.

In the past, electric vans and trucks powered by old technology lead acid batteries could only manage top speeds of around 20mph and about 40 miles between charges. This new vehicle will be ideally suited for the consolidation centre operations currently used by DHL Exel Supply Chain that help to reduce road congestion on multiple short distance routes.

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