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32 minutes | 5 days ago
10: CV Focus episode 10 - Aaron Thomas
Arguably, there’s been more development in vehicles and technology over the last five years, than the previous 15. This week Matt Eisenegger talks with one of those genuinely at the cutting edge: Aaron Thomas, Co-Founder and MD of TRAILAR, which uses solar panels on the roofs of vehicles to reduce fuel consumption and emissions. He explains how, along with Co-Founder Denny Hulme, the idea was developed as part of a DHL management development program, to fulfil a brief of ideas to ‘seriously disrupt the UK transport industry’. Having got their idea - putting solar panels on a trailer to power ancillary equipment – past first base, they then found a supplier of flexible solar mats and developed a prototype. Having presented to the DHL UK board, who loved the idea, the project rolled on with further vehicles fitted as proof of concept. Then, testing at Millbrook proved the CO2 and fuel savings. From here, he explains, the project went into DHL’s ‘accelerator programme’ and, rather than keeping it to itself, DHL provided funding for Oldham & Rugby-based TRAILAR to be set up as a limited company in 2018. Aaron explains how the fit-and-forget system works and the many hidden advantages, which now has DHL, Royal Mail, Ryder and others among its customers. It provides power for all ancillary equipment on the vehicle including refrigeration, tail-lifts, air conditioning and even takes better care of the vehicle battery.. And, despite the firm’s name, it is fitted to rigids, vans, waste collection vehicles and works on coaches and buses as well where it is especially beneficial due to passenger vehicles’ higher power requirements. He explains how the system saves up to 2,800 litres of diesel and 8T of CO2, , per year, and how its telematics report those savings to customers. The conversation concludes with TRAILAR’s current work with Ocado on electric vehicles, and the potential for alternative fuel vehicles.
32 minutes | 12 days ago
9: CV Focus episode 9 - Adam Purshall
The logistics sector has seen sweeping changes this year and had to adapt rapidly to circumstances. To find out more, Matt Eisenegger chats with Adam Purshall, Fleet & Procurement Director at leading logistics operator Bibby Distribution.“We’ve had to change, but it forces you to change – such as in digitalisation – it brings forward a lot of things,” says Adam of the business that has 1,400 staff operating from 45 UK locations.Adam talks about its all Euro 6 fleet, and the extra fuel savings at Euro 6d - 5% year-on-year - compared with Euro 6a.On the back of this year’s £14m fleet investment, the conversation turns to drivers and Bibby’s use of telematics: “It enables you to have very focused conservations with drivers.”They talk about how Bibby engages its 900 drivers to “win hearts and minds” and examples of improvements that have come from this to make drivers’ lives easier “often it’s the simplest things,” explains Adam.
30 minutes | 2 months ago
8: CV Focus episode 8 - Daniel Hurcombe
Here’s a challenge: How do you make home deliveries greener and more economical? One answer is lightweighting the vehicle and increasing its capacity – both in payload and space terms – so that it can do more deliveries before returning to base, have lower running costs and be easy for drivers to use. That’s not a new challenge, but thanks to the clever use of new technology, Penso Group’s ‘Blue Ocean Pods’ is delivering a solution that works. Daniel Hurcombe, MD of the long-established Coventry-based manufacturer chats with Matt Eisenegger to explain why it’s getting into supermarket delivery vehicles and what’s so radical about the project, which already has Asda signed up as a customer. He explains how, with its background in automotive and aerospace projects - clients include Jaguar Land-Rover, Mercedes-Benz’ London Taxi, Boeing, Airbus, BAE Systems - it’s been able to refine carbon-fibre technology to make it cheaper and more suitable for mass-market production. Although Penso uses high-value manufacturing, thanks to a clever business model the vehicles have roughly the same monthly cost as traditional solutions, we learn. And they do more miles-per-gallon. We discover how the ‘pods’ are the result of a project started three years ago with Mercedes-Benz to work on the supermarket home-delivery sector. The challenge is to get right amount of payload and best economics for daily operation. As experts in lightweighting and vehicle integration, Penso was well-placed to step up to the challenge. It also dealt with the conundrum of how to insulate the vehicle, and make it green. Part of the solution comes in the use of 5,500 recycled plastic bottles in every van it builds. We discover that the savings – of up to 500kg on a 3.5T van – are used not only to create extra payload, but also extra space, of up to 140 totes (the trays shopping is delivered in) from a maximum of 120 (although often lower) in conventional designs. With Penso’s experience in ‘vehicle packaging’, it has also produced a design that means it’s as easy for women to use as men – especially in the crucial area of easily-reaching the top totes. We also learn about where this technology could go; if you’re thinking 7.5T trucks and overnight freight, then listen on…
46 minutes | 2 months ago
6: CV Focus episode 6 - Rob Fowler
It’s not everyday that a new manufacturer arrives on the truck market. Even less so when their product is electric and radically different to anything else on the road. In an exclusive interview with Volta Trucks’ CEO Rob Fowler, CV Focus discovers the driving forces behind this exciting new venture, and why such a radical and different delivery truck will be on streets all over the country pretty soon. Part of this is that Rob Fowler doesn’t come from a vehicle manufacturer, but an operating background, having spent 10 years at parcel firm DPD, latterly on its EV programme. Now one of the largest commercial EV operators in the country, DPD has an aggressive strategy having gone from five vehicles to 700 EVs in just three years. With his background of being a customer, that gives Volta a unique perspective and a radical approach to business - everything from the vehicle’s design principles, to modelling costs and working with operators to deliver the solution. Drivers, safety and productivity are all to the fore in the design, and Rob explains why they are so important; not only for the bottom line, but also for the men and women behind the wheel. And, for those who worry about the sustainability of batteries, he also explains why Volta Trucks has eschewed traditional EV battery technology, to use safe, durable cells that don’t involve mining precious metals. This change to the landscape also extends to property, and Rob chats about the effect that the EV revolution will have on landlords.
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