Bluebird Electric Vehicles is based in Swansea and builds floats to designs by sister company Bluebird Technologies Limited. The latter built (and continues to develop) the all electric Bluebird land speed record car which is raced by Don Wales, grandson of Sir Malcolm Campbell. Don currently holds 8 land speed records with the Bluebird, from which the company takes its name.
Bluebird are building the XDV design for Express Dairies (photo on Modern Designs) and are developing several other designs for home delivery operators. They are also planning to create a generic vehicle (currently coded CDV) for small operators and single purchase which should be available later this year.
Another interesting development from Bluebird is the IBIS rapid battery interchange system which can be adopted onto existing electric vehicles. Although it will take a few years to generate enough interchange
centres for this to be a functional reality for small operators, it will be a useful step towards improving the viability of electric vehicles, meaning that they can stay out on the road pretty much at will.
(Many thanks to Martin Rees for providing information about Bluebird for this section)
Smith Electric Vehicles (now part of the Tanfield group) manufacture and sell all types of commercial EVs, including milk floats. Their latest model, the Faraday, boasts vastly improved specifications over traditional EVs, offering a top speed of up to 60mph and a range of up to 120 miles. As well as manufacturing new vehicles, SEV continues to operate as a Fleet Maintenance company for major dairies.
(Thanks to Dan Jenkins for the information on SEV.)
Electricars Limited part of M & M Group Handling since 1983, is one of the oldest names is electric vehicle manufacturing and previously traded under such famous names as Morrison-Electricar and Crompton-Electricar. The company acquired Harbilt Electric Vehicles in 1987 and today Electricars can supply a range of parts, including cabs, for milk floats and other vehicles that may be over 30 years old. The current product range manufactured in Atherstone, Warwickshire, includes road vehicles, tow tractors, platform trucks and personnel carriers.
(Thanks to Stuart Andrews for the information on Electricars.)
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