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TNT builds up its green fleet worldwide

Over 100 new electric and hybrid trucks for the UK, China, and Australia

(PresseBox) (Amsterdam, ) TNT is doubling its effort to cut carbon emissions of its road fleet with the introduction of over 100 electric trucks in the UK, China, and Australia.

TNT Express and Smith Electric Vehicles last Monday launched in London the world's largest fleet of zero emission electric vehicles. TNT's new 100-strong fleet of battery-powered 'Newton' delivery trucks will replace diesel equivalents over the next 18 months. The 7.5 ton lorries will prevent the release of up to 1,299,000 kilograms of CO2 into the atmosphere of towns and cities in the UK each year. The first tranche of 50 trucks will operate from TNT locations in London, Basildon, Birmingham, Bradford, Bristol, Durham, Edinburgh, Enfield, Glasgow, Leeds, Leicester, Luton, Northampton, Oxford, Paisley, Preston, and Wolverhampton. The partnership with Smith - the world's largest manufacturer of road-going commercial electric vehicles - follows an 18-months trial in London. TNT is looking into piloting electric vehicles in all major European cities.

Last week, TNT and Dong Feng Motor Co., China's largest automaker and manufacturer of electric vehicles, began a trial of two battery-electric delivery vans in the city of Wuhan, the capital of Hubei Province, China. The trial involves two light electric vans designed, manufactured and assembled in Wuhan by Dong Feng Motor Co. It is TNT's first zero-emissions test outside of Europe. The vans have a top speed of 80 kph (50 mph), a range of 160-200 km (100-124 miles) and can carry a one ton load.

At the end of April, TNT Express Australia introduced 10 Hino hybrid trucks, becoming the first business in Australia to start operating a fleet of diesel-electric hybrid as replacements for conventionally powered vehicles. The new trucks will reduce TNT's greenhouse gas emissions by an average of 1,600 kilograms of CO2 a year per vehicle. They emit 14 percent less CO2 and 50 percent less nitrous oxides than a conventional diesel truck of equivalent size.

"Greening our road fleet is a must to achieve TNT's quest to become the first zero emissions express and mail company," says TNT CEO Peter Bakker. "TNT is renewing its operations to reduce their environmental impact. Examples range from greener offices and depots to electricity sourcing and innovative electric vehicles."

The electric trucks introduced in the UK compete in performance with diesel equivalents, while delivering a 100% reduction in CO2 emissions and exhaust air pollutants at the point of use. Costing just 9 euro-cents per mile in electricity to run, they also allow significant fuel savings. The 7.5-ton truck has a top speed of 80 kilometres per hour and a 210 kilometres range from one single battery charge. It aims to replace diesel trucks that operate exclusively in urban areas, thereby helping improve air quality and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. On average, it costs just €50-a-week to power a zero emission vehicle as opposed to €300 spent on diesel fuel. The electric vehicles are also exempt from the London congestion charge - about €2,225 a year - and do not incur road tax in the UK.

Powered by four large sodium nickel chloride 278v batteries located underneath the vehicle, each Newton can be fully charged from flat in approximately eight hours, using a standard three-phase industrial electricity supply which is common to any commercial premises. The Newton also provides additional environmental features such as fully recyclable, ultra light body panels manufactured by Omnia. This reduces the body weight and increases the payload capacity to 4,000kg.

The new initiatives further strengthen TNT's position at the head of the 'green league' in the transportation sector. In 2007, TNT topped the prestigious Dow Jones Sustainability Index achieving an overall rating of 91 out of a possible 100 - the highest recorded score of any company on the DJSI. TNT is also testing vehicles running on sustainable biofuels, biogas, or hydrogen in various countries, such as India, the Netherlands, and Germany.

TNT last year launched a global environmental programme - Planet me. It seeks to provide transparency on the company's carbon footprint, reduce CO2 emissions from its operations, and engage with the company's 161,500 employees - their families and friends, as well as contractors and suppliers - to decrease their carbon footprint both at work and at home.