You only need to have ordered a coffee or a beer in a Parisian brasserie to have seen a Tafanel truck. Every year, the N° 1 beverage distributor in Paris supplies the capital with more than 300 million drinks. Concerned about its consumers' quality of life, Tafanel has always made great efforts to reduce the noise and greenhouse gas emissions associated with this essential economic activity. That is why the company came to Renault Trucks, its long-time distribution partner, for a solution. An initiative which led to the presentation, on 5 May 2010, of the keys to the first Renault Maxity Electric, an all-electric 'zero emission, no noise' light commercial vehicle.

Tafanel is currently the leading beer and soft drinks distribution company in France. It delivers 332 million drinks (beer, water, fruit juice, soda, etc.) in Paris every year, making the life of Parisians and large numbers of tourists more pleasant, thanks to their fleet of trucks.

The commercial ties between Renault Trucks and Tafanel are firmly founded and long standing. The distributor has always been entirely satisfied with the quality of the French manufacturer's products. "Renault trucks are very manoeuvrable and extremely pleasant to drive in town. The very low chassis makes it easier on the back when you are loading or unloading beer kegs. Furthermore, Renault Trucks provides a much appreciated quality of aftersales service for our company which has to respect very precise delivery times," explains Robert Bosc, a delivery driver who has been working with Tafanel for 20 years.

Tafanel was one of the first in the field to seriously focus on minimising the nuisance caused by its activity, which is such an essential part of 'Parisian life'. In the 1960s, they adopted intermodality, bringing kegs and crates of drinks right into their depot courtyard by train, and then sending them out for the 'last few kilometres' in delivery trucks to their final destinations. The handling is carried out using forklift trucks running on NGV (natural gas for vehicles). This complementary use of rail and road transport contributes to reducing traffic congestion on the routes into Paris.

This policy is in line with Renault Trucks' vision of urban goods mobility: "Putting the right truck in the right place with the right energy". In this context, the manufacturer is developing vehicles running on energy solutions that are an alternative to diesel fuel. Maxity Electric, an all electric - and therefore 'zero emission, no noise' - light commercial vehicle, is the latest of these. This clean and quiet vehicle will enable Tafanel to carry out some of its daily delivery rounds without causing a nuisance to people in the vicinity.

This vehicle, which can be driven with an ordinary driving licence, has been developed by Renault Trucks in partnership with PVI and EDF to meet the often severe dimensional and environmental constraints encountered in European town centres. Its main advantages are the absence of atmosphere polluting and CO2 emissions, as well as the total disappearance of noise pollution. This allows the vehicle to preserve all its intrinsic qualities (mobility, easy body mounting, a total payload of 2 tonnes, etc.), while at the same time significantly enhancing its environmental credentials.

The Maxity Electric has a top speed of 90 km/h with maximum torque available at startup. However, to optimise its batteries' performance and in view of the missions carried out by this type of vehicle, customers can choose to limit this speed to 70 km/h for use in urban environments. Optimisation of the electric motor, as well as recovered braking energy, give the vehicle an operating range of almost 100 km (for dry goods transport applications). The vehicle is fitted with an asynchronous electric motor, a robotised gearbox and latest generation Lithium-Ion batteries. All auxiliary equipment (power steering, brake vacuum pump) has been electrified.

Between 10 and 30 pre-production vehicles are to be put into operation on French roads with pilot customers in 2010 before the vehicle's commercial launch, scheduled for 2011.

For several years, Renault Trucks research has been focused on finding alternative solutions to 'all diesel' energy due to the diminishing resources of diesel fuel and the increasingly urgent need to combat polluting emissions. Apart from its all electric urban vehicles such as the Maxity and Midlum, Renault Trucks offers a comprehensive range of alternative solutions. Comparable with diesel vehicles in terms of driving and performance, vehicles using NGV (Natural Gas for Vehicles) emit neither smoke nor particles and generate significantly less noise. Since 2009, hybrid technology has been undergoing tests under real operating conditions using three vehicles. These point towards achieving immediate savings in diesel consumption, as well as a cut in CO2 emissions of around 20%. For vehicles that still run on Diesel, Renault Trucks is pursuing its innovative development of solutions designed to ensure that their fuel consumption maintains a downward trend.

About Tafanel
Founded in 1932, the 'Établissements Tafanel' is the leading beer and soft drinks distributor in France, delivering to hotels, restaurants and cafes, and also to railway stations, hospitals, schools and company canteens. Every year, its 350 strong workforce takes part in delivering 332 million beverages (beer, water, fruit juice, soda, syrup, cider, lemonade, etc.), - totalling 83 million litres - in casks or bottles. This translates into 1,000 deliveries every day in the streets of Paris to supply 5,000 customers. To provide this service which is so important for the life of Parisians and large numbers of tourists, Tafanel relies on a fleet of 100 vehicles almost entirely made up of Renault Midlums equipped with bottlers bodies.

About Renault Trucks
Driven by the enthusiasm, experience and determination of its over 14,000 strong workforce, as well as an activity covering more than 100 countries and 1,500 sales and service outlets, Renault Trucks is one of the world's leading commercial vehicle manufacturers. A designer, manufacturer and distributor of light commercial and heavy goods vehicles, Renault Trucks offers the most comprehensive range of vehicles (from 2.7 to 60T) and services currently available on the market. Renault Trucks offers models perfectly adapted to its customers' wide range of activities: Delivery, Distribution, Construction, Long Haul, specialised and military applications. Renault Trucks sold some 35,600 vehicles in 2009. The company is committed to putting pride and prestige back into road transport, for the sake or both its customers and its drivers. For road haulage is a noble profession, without which society would collapse.