5 minutes with Lionel Curtis, Director of Clairvaux

01 July 2021 #Uncategorised

5 minutes with…

Director of Clairvaux, Lionel Curtis, who talks about his experiences of the CV Show over the years and what the company who electrifies heavy-duty vehicles is looking forward to.

Why is the CV Show important to you?
I’ve been at every CV Show since 2009, with a number of different companies, and there’s obviously been a lot of change in the sector in those 12 years which has been fascinating to see first-hand. For 2021 I’m attending with Clairvaux, addressing the electrification of bigger, heavier vehicles. I attended in 2001 as Maboy Electric Vehicles with an electric conversion of an LDV Convoy and, when we look at what has happened to EVs in the intervening years, we’re hopeful that it will not be another twenty years before our latest designs become commonplace on roads.

What are you highlighting/showcasing at the show this year?
We’re keen to show our electric semi-trailer project, which provides a zero-emissions hybrid option for deliveries in CAZ/ZEZ/ULEZ, but are too far from the distribution centre to be serviced by battery electric vehicles. We see this as a significant step in helping firms decarbonise their services. We’ll also be able to talk about some other exciting projects that we have been working on and hope to bring to market in the near future, such as our electric generator axle. Unlike some of the alternatives, you won’t have to source components separately – it’s a one box, off-the-shelf solution and we’re excited about its potential.

What is your favourite CV Show memory?
I’ve always enjoyed participating in the CV Show, but debuting Cartwright’s Streetwise urban delivery concept trailer in 2017 is a standout memory. I was Technical Director of Cartwright for six years, and the design was produced in response to feedback from a major client. For those that don’t know, you were able to load through the back as usual, and then unload through the side directly to pavement. I still believe that it’s a really good concept that hasn’t realised its full potential.

What’s your advice for anyone attending the show for the first time?
There’s always a lot to see – so keep your eyes open and always ask yourself, “Where could I use that?” – whether it’s a complete vehicle or a novel attachment, you might be surprised what crops up or sparks a fresh line of thinking. Sensible shoes are an essential but, and this may sound a bit unusual, wear two pairs of socks. They’ll help your feet and ankles when you’re on the go all day.

What are your anticipated highlights for this year?
Being back at NEC, in person, will be fantastic. The CV sector thrives on personal relationships and being able to catch up with people we’ve not been able to see face-to-face for too long will be great.

I’m also looking forward to seeing what the major OEMs have been up to. It’s been two years since the last show, so I expect some genuinely innovative ideas. I always think of it as a way of being inspired when thinking what you may be able to develop in the future.

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