Recent weeks have seen plenty of opportunities to drive the newest Paneltex Electric Truck. The first vehicle from our next generation of pure battery electric trucks. Feedback has been overwhelmingly positive from drivers and and our aim to supply an electric truck that gives a similar driver experience to a traditional diesel vehicle appears to have been realised. We manufactured and supplied a curved-roof parcel-carrier body for this vehicle and introduced the vehicle at Cenex LCV at Millbrook Proving Ground in September. Later in the month, we displayed it at Rockingham Motor Circuit for GreenFleet Arrive ‘N’ Drive. At both events, this vehicle was available to drive and was almost constantly out on the track being driven, which is a credit to its high-quality driving experience. At Arrive ‘N’ Drive, for instance, it was test-driven more than 20 times over the course of the day and was very well received by all who drove it, many comparing it favourably to its diesel equivalents, in terms of practicality, performance and comfort.
With a GVWR of 7.5 tonnes, and a payload of 3.4T, this vehicle is a great credit to all who have been involved. With an above-cab air deflector and curved roof for aerodynamic optimisation and improved styling, this vehicle is not only efficient, but practical and stylish. With pure battery electric drive, the Paneltex Electric Truck produces zero greenhouse gas emissions and has no negative effect on air quality.
The base vehicle is an Isuzu Grafter, stripped of its engine and gearbox by the Paneltex team. With a robust final drive, lightweight yet durable design, tight turning circle and comfortable driving position, this is an excellent chassis cab for us to convert for pure electric urban/suburban use. After stripping the chassis, we work closely with Magtec to install their P180 motor, motor controller and battery pack. Our available Lithium-ion battery packs range between 80kWh and 160kWh, giving a range of between 80 and 140 miles. For most urban/suburban delivery routes, this is a more than sufficient maximum range but the pack is rapid-charge capable if top-up charging is needed. The charge state of our battery packs can be started or interrupted at any point during the cycle without degradation to the cells, increasing the usability of the vehicle. The next benefit of our vehicle is the bodywork, as the Paneltex electric truck can have any truck body that can be mounted to a diesel truck. Paneltex manufactures and mounts the bodies and they can fit any operation, from lightweight parcel carriers through cages, dropsides and tippers, to temperature-controlled, refrigerated, insulated boxes.
The efficiency and helpful care of the Paneltex aftercare team, combined with our close relationship with Isuzu and its dealers, means that we offer full service support nationwide. This helps keep vehicle-off-road (VOR) times to an absolute minimum, again proving that this is a practical, usable vehicle.