The IRTE Northern Centre continued their Continuing Professional Development (CPD) 2023 events with a visit to the production facilities of Electra Commercial Vehicles in Blackburn, a manufacturer of 100% electric commercial vehicles ranging from 7.5 tonnes to 44 tonnes.

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Andrew Holliday (Sales Manager), Dave Botwright (Engineering Manager) and Stephen Storrar (Project Manager) met members and guests on arrival. Delegates were treated to an informative talk, on the history of Electra Commercial Vehicles, since incorporation in 2017, using a finished vehicle body side as a presentation screen.

Attendees learned how early projects were developed by using diesel powered vehicles as a base and then converting the rolling chassis product to take the battery and power units. This was the way most suited to customers application requirements and the chassis layout. As development advanced over time, the company worked closely with several Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) including Daimler, IVECO, ISUZU and Dennis-Eagle, which now all supply glider-chassis units for Electra, to their specifications.

The session detailed the components used in the vehicles, battery capacity and motor outputs. It outlined how the company’s engineers and development team configure the build process and correct application to meets customer needs.

Electra vehicles are found in many applications including airport service, urban distribution, utilities, waste collection and highway maintenance and there with EV development and future projects. There was a description of the hydrogen fuelled vehicle currently undergoing development trials with a large industry partner, which is achieving remarkable distance covered results and reliability statistics. Electra environmental projects are also in place to give second life applications to vehicle batteries in the commercial and domestic power industry when they have become unserviceable in their present application.

The final part of the evening was a guided tour of the manufacturing facility to observe the complete vehicle range available in glider chassis format, part build and completed vehicles ready for distribution.

IRTE Northern Centre committee member Chris Grime thanked the team from Electra Commercial Vehicles on behalf of the Centre for their excellent presentation and tour as well as their hospitality.