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Road test and tests for electric vans and pickup vans: how are tests on small professional electric vans conducted?

Road test: a block of reinforced concrete loaded on the small electric pickup
Road test: a block of reinforced concrete loaded on the small electric pickup

Here above you can see the road test conducted with Alkè's professional electric pickups. The test is divided into three categories:

  • frame strength test
  • test involving uphill start of the vehicle
  • test on the batteries' operating time

We have interviewed Davide Contran, in charge of vehicle delivery at Alkè and road tests of the company's ATX 200E electric vehicles:

Question: How the performance of professional electric pickups is tested:

Davide Contran: "We were aware that Enel's vehicle tests were going to be challenging. Indeed, when the crane arrived and placed a heavy 440kg of concrete on our electric pickup we realised it was no joke. With the concrete block on board, the electric pickup began to operate and simulate heavy-duty applications inside the power plant."

First test: frame strength

With the block of concrete the vehicle went along a small flat route with some potholes. Indeed, it is precisely potholes that put axle shafts and shock absorbers to the test if the electric pickup, which needs to carry 270kg for the batteries alone, is also fully loaded. In this situation the small electric pickup with an electric motor was carrying the 270kg for the batteries, 80kg for the driver and a 440kg load. The test was passed successfully, even because our vehicles come from off-road vehicles used by the civil protection service in really challenging circumstances.

Second test: uphill start of the electric pickup

Start of the electric pickup from standstill at full load on a ramp. The uphill start test is very important as standstill starts are critical for all electric motors. The test was passed successfully thanks to the maximum torque at 0 revs of electric vehicles that can cope with ramps reaching up to a 30% slope.

Third test: the batteries' operating time

Batteries' operating time. This road test aimed at examining how an electric van call codes with an entire working day with continued stop-and-go driving in an industrial and urban context. Power plants can be located near banks and therefore need to go uphill and downhill. Going uphill near a bank is very difficult and many other competitor vehicles have not passed this road test.

I. : "How do you test the batteries' operating time?"

D.C. : "Usually when we read the operating time of a vehicle in a catalogue, it refers to a vehicle with no load on a flat route. Instead our tests are real road tests made on an urban route and taking the driver into consideration (about 80kg), 270kg for the on-board batteries and a load of 300Kg worth of goods. With these loads Alke's 200E vehicle drove non-stop for about 4 hours in Padua's town centre and industrial area, for a total of approx. 70/80km."

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