Edinburgh's Menzies Distribution embarks on trail of unique electric van

Menzies Distribution is accelerating its electric vehicle switchover after embarking on a year-long trial of a pre-production green van.
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The Edinburgh-headquartered group said the all-electric Ford Transit was one of a very small number in the UK at present. The van is said to offer a load area that mirrors its diesel counterpart and has been identified by the company as suitable for newstrade, express and parcel operations.

The firm will test the E-Transit and its existing charging infrastructure. It will engage both the Menzies Newstrade and Express operations, providing varied routes, mixed terrain, different speeds and, at times, “vast” mileage ranges, all of which have a bearing on battery life. Data obtained from the test will inform blueprints for all Menzies sites and their electric vehicle (EV) resources.

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Menzies Distribution operates from more than 100 sites across the UK and Ireland, distributing to some 30,000 locations each day, including newspapers and magazines, retail stock, healthcare consumables and parcel delivery services. The business employs almost 5,000 people and operates more than 4,000 vehicles.

Adam Purshall, fleet and procurement director, said: “We are excited to have this opportunity to push the E-Transit and our infrastructure as hard as we can to fully understand the limitations of both and work with the manufacturer to deliver the future of EV technology. The transport department is ready to embrace this trial with open arms, and the buy-in of drivers and staff is key to its success.”

Menzies currently has about 90 charging locations in its network.

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