For years, Britain’s milkmen and women drove electric milkfloats. They even gained a global audience in the 1960s courtesy of Michael Caine hopping on the back of one in The Italian Job. But more recently, they were just another mode of transport that fell victim to the dash to diesel.
But now, milkmen are having a rethink and switching back, to zero-emissions EV milkfloats. Milk & More is Britain’s biggest milk delivery service, and has recently finalised a deal for 200 StreetScooter electric milk floats. The £6.5 million deal is, it says Britain’s largest-ever all-electric fleet order to date.
The order will result in a third of Milk & More’s fleet switching from diesel to electric, which is being done to cut both emissions and noise: one of the firm’s aims is to deliver to customers by 7am, and many of them may appreciate not having a diesel CV clattering up their road in the middle of the night.
But Milk & More’s savvy fleet operators are also targeting significant cost savings. The first StreetScooters have already been carrying out testing during the past month – and have clocked up a 90 percent reduction in operational running costs compared to the diesel vehicles.
Even the fact the vehicles are left-hand drive (they’re built in Germany by Deutsche Post) is actually a positive, says the firm: it means milkmen and women can safely get in and out kerbside – which, as they’re often doing so when it’s dark, is a handy safety positive.
The quoted range is between 65 and 75 miles, recharging the 33kWh lithium-ion battery packs takes eight hours for an 80 percent charge (getting the extra 20 percent requires another two hours), and the top speed for racy milkmen and women keen to take advantage of deserted early morning roads has wisely been capped to 53mph.
Patrick Müller, CEO of Milk & More, said: “The StreetScooter is an ideal fit, from an environmental and noise reduction standpoint, for both us and our customers. We’re on a transformational journey, and the StreetScooter certainly helps us make this iconic tradition relevant to 21st century customers.”
The EV milk float is not the only way Milk & More is pushing its green credentials, either: the classic glass milk bottle is reused an impressive 25 times or more before being replaced. Another example of how milkmen and women had it right all along.