ePower Trucks, a UK-based company, just introduced its XT320E 3.5t, a battery-powered light commercial vehicle that undercuts the price of most of its electric competition by a substantial margin. At £30,000 ($47,000 U.S. at the current exchange rate), the XT320E costs around half as much as competitive, 3.5 ton, battery-powered vehicles on the market. ePower claims that its use of lead-acid battery technology has allowed the company to keep costs low while still being able to offer a commercial vehicle with decent range and performance numbers.

The XT320E boasts swappable battery technology, a maintenance-free battery design and the ability to operate at temperatures just above -20 Celsius (-4 degrees Fahrenheit). Though the XT320E boasts a rather average range of just 60 miles, battery swaps can be carried out by a pallet truck in less than three minutes. Additionally, the XT320E can be fitted with a double battery pack that extends its range to 120 miles, but this option cuts its payload rating from 1,000 kilograms down to 670 kg.

Jerry Hanss, managing director of ePower Trucks, believes that the XT320E fills a void in the battery-powered commercial vehicle market, stating:
We looked at what was available on the market and identified a gap for a lower cost EV, with better range performance. Our expertise is in robust, pragmatic electric utility vehicles, so we used that experience to address the market from a different perspective. What we have delivered is a vehicle with a very attractive whole life cost model, which is also zero emission.
With the XT320E's energy costs pegged at just two pence ($0.03 U.S.) per mile, coupled with its anticipated lower maintenance and service costs, ePower says that the vehicle can pay for itself in just four years.

[Source: Green Car Congress, Fleet News]

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