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TNT to Swap 100 Diesel Trucks for Electric Models

Delivery company TNT has announced it's switching part of its fleet to electric vehicles and a number of test programs for cleaner trucks.

TNT, a transportation and delivery company, will replace more than 100 diesel truck with all-electric trucks over the next year and a half.

The company will swap out trucks in the United Kingdom, China and Amsterdam, and also has a number of pilot programs to test other, cleaner trucks.

The zero emission, battery-powered Newton trucks are manufactured by Smith Electric Vehicles in the U.K. and designed to replace diesel trucks in urban areas. The trucks have a top speed of 50 miles per hour and have a range of 70-100 miles on a single charge. They're powered by four sodium nickel chloride 278v batteries and can be fully charged in six-eight hours.

"We are living in times of great change and the launch of the fleet represents a critical component in what we are striving for - to make TNT the first zero emissions express and mail company," said TNT CEO Peter Bakker.

The £7 million ($13.7 million) initiative is expected to reduce the company's carbon dioxide emissions by about 2.8 million pounds a year. TNT had previously ordered 50 of the trucks from Smith Electric. The latest 100 trucks will be split evenly between the U.K. and its other European operations. TNT runs about 45,000 trucks in Europe.

Before deciding to start replacing diesel trucks with Newtons, the company tested the trucks out for 18 months in London. TNT's operations in China, Australia and the Netherlands are testing out other electric and hybrid trucks. Last week the company started using two battery-powered delivery vans in Wuhan, the capital of Hubei Province in China. In April, TNT introduced 10 diesel-electric hybrids in Australia, and the company plans to try out other Smith Electric vans and trucks in the Netherlands.

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