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Charge debuts autonomous-ready electric truck

The Oxfordshire-based firm, run by businessman and entrepreneur Denis Sverdlov, revealed the latest model at the Wired 2016 conference. The vehicle range covers 3.5 to 26 tonnes, using ultra-lightweight composite combined with custom built hardware, including power electronics and motors, said to reduce operating costs by more than 50%. The trucks produce zero emissions for the first 100 miles they travel; for longer journeys a dual mode can be used to ‘top up’ the battery and extend the range to 500 miles.

All vehicles receive over-the-air updates like a smart phone and are “autonomous ready” – the firm says they will be ready for future driverless regulations “at the touch of a button”. They have also been designed to meet Mayor of London Sadiq Khan’s new ‘Direct Vision Standard’ for lorries. 

“We find trucks today totally unacceptable. At Charge we are making trucks the way they should be – affordable, elegant, quiet, clean and safe. We are removing all the barriers to entry for electric vehicles by pricing them in line with conventional trucks, giving every fleet manager, tradesman or company, no matter how big or small, the opportunity to change the way they transport goods and make our towns and cities better places to live in,” ssaid Denis Sverdlov. 

Vehicles are currently built at the firm’s factory near its Oxfordshire HQ with plans for further factories to open. The firm says it takes one person just four hours to build an entire Charge truck, meaning 10 men, over two shifts a day, can assemble 10,000 trucks a year. 

Charge is also working closely with Roborace – the world’s first driverless electric racing series developing key components like the power electronics and motors for the Robocar. Earlier this year Charge became the official electric truck partner of Formula E using its prototype truck for the driver parade and logistics on and off the tracks which are built on city streets.

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Written by Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for 16 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. As Business Editor, Natalie ensures the group websites and newsletters are updated with the latest news.

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