3663 runs UK’s first refrigerated electric truck

London, UK:  Food distributor, 3663 is operating the UK’s first electric truck with a refrigerated body. The 12-tonne Smith Newton all-electric truck is running out of 3663’s Battersea depot in South London, as part of its long-term commitment to reducing carbon emissions.

Joanna Pegg, fleet controller at 3663, says: “We’re excited to have launched our first electric vehicle to run within the Battersea commercial fleet because it has so many benefits for us and our customers.

“These green trucks are not only quicker and easier to maintain, but they also create zero tailpipe pollution – meaning no nitrogen oxide, no carbon monoxide and no carbon dioxide is emitted from the vehicle. It also runs very quietly, reducing the level of noise pollution.”

3663 is operating the UK's first electric truck with a refrigerated body

The Newton for 3663 can transport up to 3-tonnes of goods and has a range of up to 160km (100 miles) on a single charge. The 120kWh lithium-ion battery pack is recharged overnight and is also robust enough to take a top-up charge.

The vehicle has body by Gray & Adams and uses a eutectic fridge unit from Netherlands-based Govet. The eutectic fridge uses gel-filled tubes internally fixed in the body. During the night a compressor unit charges these tubes ready for daytime operations.

In use cold air is blown into the cargo space by a thermostat-operated fan. This means that the refrigeration process does not affect the Newton’s daily range capabilities, as it draws no power from the truck’s traction batteries during use. The refrigeration system is independent of a compressor and has sufficient capacity to cope with multi-drop work with frequent door openings.

Andrew McManus, business unit controller for 3663 at the Battersea depot, said: “This is a step in the right direction for urban depots, such as Battersea, where the electric vehicle will make a real positive difference to both our drivers and customers, and more importantly, the environment.

“Smaller, quieter and energy efficient, the Smith Newton will make deliveries much easier for our drivers who regularly have to stop-start their engines in one of the busiest parts of the city.”

3663 is a UK food service wholesale distributor delivering frozen, fresh, chilled and non-food items to approximately 60,000 customers.