Page 8 - Commercial Vehicle Engineer - November 2018
P. 8

S ince1950thenumber of city dwellers in most
countries has been growing fast, and this trend shows no sign
of ending. The percentage of China’s population living in cities rose from 13 to more than 40 between 1950 and 2005. Now it is forecast to rise to more than 60% by 2030. In the UK in 1950 there was already a high proportion of the population, 79%, living in cities. But still it keeps growing and is forecast to be more than 92% by 2030.
Statistics like these help explain the growing popularity of events like the Freight in the City show, now in its fourth year. The latest in this series was held this month in London, with topics such as air quality, vulnerable road users (cyclists, motorcyclists and pedestrians), and urban restraints on truck access high on the agendas of many of the 50-plus exhibitors.
One particular talking point was the highly contentious “direct vision standard” for truck cabs proposed by Transport
for London (TfL). A third (and  nal) version of the TfL proposal is promised
to be published for public consultation in January.
All-electric vehicles were much in evidence. On show for the  rst time in the UK was Volvo’s FE-Electric 6x2 chassis- cab with a plated gross vehicle weight up to 27 tonnes. Designed for refuse collection and urban distribution applications,
it boasts a low-entry sleeper/crew cab, electric power take-off and was shown with a matched charger unit for its lithium ion batteries. The chassis complements the FL electric model introduced earlier this year (Commercial Vehicle Engineer April).
“With the growth in home shopping and home delivery, rather than going directly from A to B, it will be interesting to gauge the reaction from Freight in the
Looking to the future: Daf tipper door window and Volvo FE Electric.
City to this vehicle,” says Volvo Trucks UK product chief John Comer, pointing out that the FE’s payload capacity beats that of no fewer than nine 3.5-tonnes gvw vans combined. “We are now starting on our journey from diesel to electric
power with the 27-tonne FE, or the more compact FL at 16 tonnes with a 300km (180 mile) range.”
The FE-Electric’s range on fully- charged batteries is put at “up to 200km (124 miles)”.

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