London-based premium beverage supplier, The Drinks Club, is making strides in reducing its environmental impact by introducing one of the first all-electric Mercedes-Benz heavy trucks to its fleet.
The 4x2 eActros 300 has joined the company’s existing lineup of delivery vehicles and is now responsible for daily deliveries of alcoholic and soft drinks to some of the most renowned venues in the UK capital, including the Ritz, Dorchester, and Hoxton Hotels.
The Drinks Club founder and Managing Director Stuart Randall said: “Like all responsible operators, we at The Drinks Club are keen to minimise the effects of our activities on the environment and have been considering our options carefully. Clearly, electrified transport is the future of the industry and we’d rather be a leader than a follower.”
As an initial step towards a greener fleet, The Drinks Club opted to replace one of its diesel-powered 18-tonne trucks with the eActros. The company plans to assess its performance and, if successful, gradually transition the rest of its fleet to battery-powered vehicles.
The 4x2 eActros 300 chosen by The Drinks Club is specifically designed as an electric truck. It is equipped with three battery packs, providing a total installed capacity of 336kWh, and can achieve a range of up to 330km (205 miles). The truck’s batteries can be rapidly charged from 20 to 80% in just 75 minutes using a 400A 160kW charger.
The eActros sets itself apart by optimising energy efficiency and offering improved driving dynamics. By integrating the twin electric motors within the rear eAxle and eliminating the need for a prop shaft, Mercedes-Benz maximises energy efficiency and creates additional space for the batteries, which are spread across the full width of the vehicle. This configuration results in a low centre of gravity, enhancing the truck’s driving performance. The eActros also features a special transmission with two forward and two reverse gears, enabling it to reach cruising speeds of up to 89km/h (55mph).
The Drinks Club’s eActros was supplied by Mercedes-Benz dealer Rygor Commercials and customised with a rigid box body by Solent Bodybuilders. The vehicle also features a 2,000kg Dhollandia cantilever tail lift. The handover of the electric truck took place at The Drinks Club’s Southall headquarters, with Mercedes-Benz Trucks Head of Future Sustainability, James Venables, overseeing the event. The operator was also assisted in the acquisition of a T-Series mobile charging system by Vital EV Solutions, based in Coventry.
James Venables said: “We’re delighted to support The Drinks Club by supplying this innovative Mercedes-Benz eActros and I’m thrilled to see it out on the road. Interest in electric vehicles has never been higher, from small and medium-sized operators as well as the biggest names in the transport sector.
“We continue to work with fleets of all sizes to find the best solutions for our customers and their business. From initial sales enquiry to purchase, and throughout their ownership of the vehicle, our team eConsultants and our eTruck-ready National Dealer Network stand ready to help.”
Following delivery, Stuart Randall confirmed: “Our drivers report that the eActros is far more pleasant to drive than a diesel truck. It’s quiet and smooth but also has excellent and immediate power delivery, so is very easy to pilot among city-centre traffic. Energy efficiency is highly impressive too. The team reports that, on our typical 45-mile daily run, we’re only using around 10-15% of a full charge to complete the route.”