Return of the Commercial Vehicle Show
After a two year hiatus, the NEC in Birmingham filled with road transport professionals once again for the 2021 Commercial Vehicle Show, which took place 31 August to 2 September
The sound of doors and bonnets echoed up and down the halls of the NEC in Birmingham from 31 August to 2 September as visitors viewed the latest commercial vehicles on display, including many zero emission electric vans. Meanwhile, the two live theatres were busy across all three days as attendees listened to a variety of expert presentations on different aspects of the industry.
Murray Ellis, show director, comments: “Throughout the three days, the show presented an unrivalled opportunity for live networking, face-to-face business and new product launches from leading brands.
“The atmosphere had been building for some time and the Show did not disappoint. Confidence remains high as the event is seen as the ‘go-to’ for everyone working in road transport operations, logistics and distribution-based businesses. Here’s to 2022.”
MAXUS went all electric at the Commercial Vehicle show, only showcasing its electric vehicles such as the e DELIVER 3 and e DELIVER 9.
Designed from the ground-up for electric power only, the e DELIVER 3 is a small van with a range of up to 213 miles on a single charge. With a 92KW motor, there are two battery options from which to choose - 35kWh and 52.5kWH. Using a DC rapid charger can top up the batteries to 80 per cent in as little as 40 minutes. Available in a number of variants with several battery and wheelbase options, the e DELIVER 3 is a versatile vehicle that suits a wide range of business needs.
The newest variant in the e DELIVER 3 range is the long wheelbase chassis cab (52.5kWH), which will be available from Q3 2021. Visitors to CV Show got to enjoy a sneak preview of the latest in EV technology and design and check out the new chassis cab and its many high spec features.
The e DELIVER 9 is available in two size options and has a range of 219 miles on a single charge. The vehicle offers three battery options - 51.5Kwh, 72Kwh and 88.55 Kwh (LH) with various battery cooling methods, which reduce charging time (DC 45mins, 5 per cent-80 per cent), as well as extending battery life and increasing the operating range.
The latest additions to Vauxhall’s electric van range – the All-New Movano-e and Combo-e – made their global debuts at The Commercial Vehicle Show.
Vauxhall is now able to offer its fleet and business customers a fully electric vehicle across its entire LCV line-up.
The Movano-e is Vauxhall’s first large Light Commercial Vehicle (LCV) to be available as a fully electric variant. It has a cargo volume of up to 17m3, while its zero-emission powertrain offers up to 139 miles of range (WLTP).
Meanwhile, the Combo-e compact electric van has a 50kWh battery providing a range of 171 miles (WLTP) combined with a load volume of 4.4m3.
Also making its UK debut at the Commercial Vehicle Show was the new Vauxhall Vivaro-e Hydrogen, which will be available in LHD markets by the end of the year, and the UK in RHD from early 2023. The hydrogen-powered van features a fuel cell system located in the engine bay for a 249 mile range and refuelling in as little as three minutes. It has an uncompromised cargo volume of up to 6.1m3. Vauxhall is speaking to corporate fleets ahead of its UK launch.
Also on display is the Vivaro-e, Vauxhall’s first fully electric van. Since going on sale in July 2020, the Vivaro-e has won numerous industry awards, including the International Van of the Year 2021.
Vauxhall’s Vivaro-e Platform Cab Concept has also made its debut at The Commercial Vehicle Show. Working with Paneltex on the vehicle body, the concept targets supermarkets and retailers who are looking at short-cycle home delivery in urban areas within one to two hours. Vauxhall Fleet has worked on the concept with its customers to develop unique solutions to best suit their business needs.
Paul Wilcox, managing director, Vauxhall, said: “What better place to launch our fully electric LCV line-up than The Commercial Vehicle Show at the NEC in Birmingham. As the UK’s leading e-LCV manufacturer, we are proud that we can now offer fleets and businesses a fully electric van across our entire model range, helping fleets make the transition into cleaner and cheaper transportation.”
Innovation Automotive (IA), the UK’s new multi-brand, all-electric automotive company, made its first UK appearance at this year’s Commercial Vehicle Show.
IA set out its vision for the UK at the show, announcing ambitious plans to simplify and demystify the process of switching to electric and bring a new level of accessibility to the market.
Paul Brigden, CEO of IA, said: “Many operators are still unsure of the business case for switching to electric, and perceptions remain that it is too risky, too complicated and too expensive. But change is coming and it’s coming fast so we’re here to help fleets of all sizes make the switch. Our commitment is to source the best alternative 100 per cent electric LCVs, to provide a first-class advisory service to our customers with an accessible and cost-effective after-sales network.”
Brigden added: “We will officially launch later this year, but we’re at the CV show to introduce ourselves, our initial product range and, most importantly, to listen to our future customers to help fine-tune our service.”
The first vehicle that IA will bring to the UK market will be the all-electric DFSK EC35, a compact and efficient all-electric panel van ideal for inner-city and ‘last-mile’ delivery, with a range of over 150 miles.
The DFSK EC35 will be swiftly followed by the EC31, an electric chassis cab van that combines impressive practicality and dependability with zero-emissions motoring. As with the EC35, the DFSK EC31 comes with a five-year warranty.
IA also has an exclusive agreement to provide Skywell commercial vehicles and will be introducing Skywell products to the UK in the near future.
Ford returned to the CV Show to introduce ‘Ford Liive’ – its new connected system designed to help operators increase productivity and maximise vehicle uptime. Ford recently announced an extension to Ford Liive designed specifically for fleet operators – Ford Telematics Essentials – a complimentary management tool designed to increase the productivity of connected commercial vehicles. It creates alerts based on real-time vehicle health data and, in turn, maximises uptime by reducing breakdowns and speeding up service and repair times.
The stand’s digital display brought Ford Liive to life, demonstrating the service’s features and benefits through a series of screens tracking vehicles in service.
Lisa Brankin, Ford of Britain and Ireland managing director, said: “The CV Show has always been a calendar highlight and that’s especially the case this year. Ford’s new offering of connected services in Ford Liive will further enhance our acclaimed vehicle range, which now includes the E-Transit battery electric two-tonne van from 2022, to ensure we deliver on our promise to keep customers’ businesses moving as we move to an all-electric future.”
Ford’s new E-Transit was also available to view at the show. The E-Transit features Pro Power Onboard, turning it into a mobile power source up to 2.3kw to use power tools and recharge equipment at job sites, while standard FordPass Connect modem helps to optimise fleet efficiency, finding and paying for charging on the go and enables over-the-air updates for features such as navigation.
The E-Transit will deliver around 200 miles of range and will be available with a generous choice of body, length, roof height and Gross Vehicle Mass options.
Trials of the New E-Transit van and converted chassis cab have already begun in the UK with last-mile and supermarket delivery operators and utility providers.
Range extended technology
LEVC – manufacturers of the range extended electric TX taxi, showcased their first commercial vehicle, the VN5, at the show. It uses the same eCity range-extender powertrain technology utilised in the TX electric taxi which gives a pure EV range of over 60 miles (98 km) and a total flexible range of over 300 miles (489 km).
The VN5 has the ability to go from zero charge to 100 percent in 30 minutes thanks to its 50kW DC charging capability and a full charge can be completed in the time taken loading/ unloading at the depot or for a short driver break and be back on the road.
The VN5 cargo capacity of up to 5.5m³ capacity, easily accommodates two Euro2/3 sized pallets (1,000x1,200mm) with a gross/net payload up to 830/735kg. It has been built with a large side-loading door (enabling a pallet to be side- loaded) and a 60/40 split door at the rear to make loading and unloading easy for the driver.
Sharon Bates, Events Manager for LEVC, said: “We’ve been particularly busy over the last three days. We had a really good level of footfall. It was our first time at the CV Show and we had quite a lot of interest from all different types of visitors. The engagement has been great and we’ve been able to properly communicate with the van community for the first time.”
Isuzu showcased its D-Max pick-up range at the show, as well as previewing its Arctic Truck AT35 pre-production model, which will be available Spring 2022.
Arctic Trucks have years of experience in re-engineering four-wheel drives to create reliable, good quality and durable vehicles. The collaboration between Isuzu UK and Arctic Trucks builds on new D-Max with advanced technology that has been especially developed to handle challenging landscapes. A strengthened chassis, Bilstein Performance Suspension and an All-Terrain Wheel and 35” Tyre Package offer confidence when driving off-road while the AT35 drives with a great deal of comfort and control.
William Brown, Isuzu UK’s managing director, commented “It is a pleasure to work with Arctic Trucks on this prototype in advance of the launch of our new AT35. Following the success of the all-new D-Max launch in 2021, it feels very exciting to be launching another new vehicle in 2022. We wanted to build upon the D-Max’s strengths to make a highly desirable and highly competent 4x4 pick-up and we are so pleased with the result. Through using Arctic Trucks’ impressive expertise alongside the D-Max’s impressive abilities the AT35 is truly an outstanding truck.”
Debbie Warne, Events Manager at Isuzu UK: “We’ve had a really successful few days at the Show. It’s the first chance for people to see our new models and we’ve had lots of positive feedback. We also had an off-road course and it’s really great to be able to offer that to our customers, which they don’t get at most shows.”
Another company specialising in 4x4 pick-ups and SUVs was SsangYong. They attended the show to showcase their new facelifted Musso, as well as a Rexton that had been commissioned to meet police specifications.
Kevin Griffin, managing director at SsangYong Motors UK, said: “Over the past few years, we’ve implemented a strong fleet strategy to strengthen our fleet business, and to develop relationships within the specialist fleet marketplace. And to prove the confidence that we have in our product, we’ve a market-leading 7-year warranty on our vehicle range, which is always appealing to fleet operators and fleet managers.”
Jaguar Land Rover chose the Commercial Vehicle Show to promote its latest Defender Hard Top Commercial vehicle, which combines all-terrain capability with 21st-century connectivity and practical cargo space.
All Defender Hard Top models come with a fixed full-height partition to separate occupants from the generous load area. The bulkhead boosts security and safety and preserves the refined driving experience of the passenger model. The partition itself comes with four hanging hooks on the loadspace side, and two stowage nets on the cabin side of 110 models for small items. The full-width load floor is completely flat, with up to six integrated lashing points, heavy-duty rubber mats and a set of lockable storage areas providing with 58 litres of underfloor stowage at the rear of both the 90 and 110. An additional underfloor area is fitted to the 110 Hard Top, where the footwells of the Defender passenger model would normally be found, providing 155 litres of hidden stowage, and the whole load area is illuminated by enhanced interior lighting five times brighter than the standard passenger Defender.
Support for drivers
The AA, DriveTech and Prestige Fleet Servicing combined together for the event to demonstrate their extensive capabilities including roadside recovery, service maintenance and repair, and driver risk management. The AA was also able to talk about the services they offer electric vehicle drivers - such as road recovery and support at EV charge points.
Highways England attended the event to talk about their commercial vehicle incident prevention programme, which aims to reduce the number of commercial vehicle incidents on the motorway network. The DVSA meanwhile were present to discuss the work it does carrying out tests to ensure lorries and buses are safe to drive.
The Road Haulage Association made its industry experts available to give visitors advice and information on its services and new offerings, while the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) shared insights into the UK automotive industry.
Europcar attended the CV Show, explaining the array of cost-effective solutions that can act as a more flexible alternative to contract hire or outright purchase. Their fleet is made latest cars and vans, including many electric vehicles.
LeasePlan meanwhile were happy to share their 50+ years’ experience in commercial vehicle leasing to explain to visitors the different options to acquiring vehicles, including the benefits of leasing a zero emission vehicle, which takes the risk out of outright purchase.
Arval UK showed how they are helping fleets prepare for the 2030 diesel and petrol ban, and support the transition to electric LCVs. They were on hand to share results of their latest research into eLCV real-world performance, insight into the use of telematics analysis, discuss flexible options to ease the transition and provide specialist knowledge.
Fleet management firm Rivus discussed its end-to-end solution that includes leasing, service, maintenance and repair, compliance, accident management for all vehicle types. With 55 of its own garages, a UK network of mobile response units and an additional 500 Rivus Approved garages, Rivus can help fleets large and small.
Technology has proven to give fleet operators insight into their drivers habits, vehicle usage and routes, allowing them to make informed decision on how to improve their fleet operations.
Geotab was available at the CV show to explain how its advanced analytics can help with fleet management, and Trakm8 discussed its technology solutions for fleet management, insurance telematics, route optimisation and dashboard camera systems.
The Commercial Vehicle Show also showcased the support services and equipment that makes running a commercial fleet possible.
Totalkare provides workshop equipment for commercial vehicle workshops. They showcased a range of their products, including vehicle lifts, brake testers, inspection pits and other lifting and testing equipment.
On-board power specialists Clayton Power launched its new Lithium Power Supply (LPS) II at this year’s CV Show - with more power, longer run times, and improved performance. The LPS offers the ability to power 230V, 110V, and DC appliances, tools, and equipment simultaneously without the need for engine idling.
The 2022 Commercial Vehicle Show will take place on 24 – 26 May 2022 at the NEC in Birmingham.