Located at the gates of Albi, Transports Rivals has just taken delivery of their first Maxity Electric. Just over one year ago, the episcopal city of Albi became a UNESCO World Heritage Site. So what could be better than an electric truck for delivering goods to shops in the historic town centre? After a two-week, real-life test and the enthusiastic response this generated from both customers and drivers, Eric Rivals decided to acquire a Maxity Electric for his company. This is the vehicle that has just been delivered by Renault Trucks.
Established in the south-west of France since 1965, Transports Rivals carries out daily deliveries to shops in the centre of Albi. When this episcopal city became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the summer of 2010, the director, Eric Rivals, started investigating electrically powered delivery options: "For deliveries in the historic centre and our 'last kilometre', we thought that operating in electric mode would be a good solution and a means of creating new links with customers, make us stand out from the competition and open up new markets," he explains.
During a presentation of the vehicle to different customers, Renault Trucks offered him the possibility of testing the Maxity Electric under actual operating conditions for 15 days. This test went far beyond all his expectations. Not only did the Maxity Electric carry out its assignments efficiently, but shopholders were particularly enthusiastic about it: "What impressed me most during this test was the reaction of our customers and local residents," recalls the director. "Customers were particularly delighted to receive their deliveries without any noise or pollution, while residents and passers-by made many favourable comments or asked interested questions to the driver."
During the test period, the vehicle was driven by a woman, Sabine. She immediately adopted the Maxity Electric: "This vehicle encourages you to drive more gently and be more 'Zen'. At the end of the day, when my round was finished, I realised I was much less tired and much less on age than usual. It's really like being in another world!" Her boss, who also took the wheel himself, was also won over by the vehicle's dynamism: "I was very pleasantly surprised when I drove it. In contrast with a vehicle using an internal combustion engine, you get maximum torque straight away. I didn't expect it to be such a responsive vehicle."
Before placing the order, Eric Rivals wanted to be sure his investment would be cost-effective. Having had no help from the Government or local authorities, he managed to negotiate a significantly lower insurance premium and also arranged a longer than usual amortisation period with his bank. "If you include all the costs and all the savings made on fuel, limited brake wear, etc., the Maxity Electric only comes out 15% more expensive than an internal combustion vehicle."
The Maxity Electric has just been delivered to Transport Rivals by the Barriac group, Renault Trucks' dealer in the region. It was fitted with a panel van body featuring two side doors to reduce use of the tailgate and save energy. It has been operating since 6 October. Barriac will be handling its maintenance and servicing.
Renault Trucks Clean Tech vehicles
In order to meet road transport’s environmental challenge, and faced with increasing demand from customers for less polluting vehicles, especially in towns, Renault Trucks has, for several years, been developing trucks that rely on alternative technologies to diesel: electric, hybrid, but also natural gas (NGV). These three types of vehicles are federated under the Clean Tech label and are primarily intended for urban and peri-urban usage.
With their keenness to offer the same maintenance quality on these vehicles as for thermal engines, Renault Trucks has adopted a Clean Tech label approach for its repair network. New technologies, of course, mean that the network needs new skills and tools that are specific to the maintenance and repair of this type of vehicle.