EVM – best known for its Mercedes-Benz mini-coaches – has added another string to its bow with the conversion of Mercedes-Benz Mk1 Tourismo coaches to PSVAR.
A popular coach selling in large numbers in the UK, the Tourismo forms the largest coach model available at Euro 5/6 on the UK secondhand market. It is also in service with many operators’ existing fleets.
Importantly, the retro-fit is available for the 12m and 13m two-axle versions, as well as the 13m three-axle Tourismo.
Secondhand models are popular as Mercedes-Benz moved to Euro 6 much earlier than the legal deadline.
The move comes as a large number of secondhand Tourismo coaches have entered the market, with more than 200 available as a result of the collapse of Shearings earlier in the year due to the impact of COVID-19.
At the same time, the demand for PSVAR coaches has risen after the government re-interpreted PSVAR legislation in late 2019, saying that it now applies to ‘closed door’ home-to-school contracts, to which the general public does not have access.
As originally published, PSVAR only applies to regular services open to the general public.
The complete conversion – using a PLS cassette lift – will also include front, side and rear destination equipment to fulfil PSVAR requirements.
It has the integration of a well-engineered access door, with glazing matching matching the shape, tint and size of the original OEM offering.
EVM Danny McGee MD says: “With the recent increase in demand brought on by Government legislation and specific requests from long-term customers in the UK who understand our engineering capabilities, we took the decision to start with the Tourismo as it has been a popular coach across the UK over the last 10 years.
“We believe we are well-placed to carry out these conversions in reasonable numbers with the scale of our facility and paint cabins up to 18m where we can also provide a complete re-paint and colour change offering if required.
“We are getting enquiries from coach dealers and asset funders and lease companies who also have coaches available and are interested in quality conversions for their customer.”
Cosimo Facecchia Engineering Manager at EVM says: “We have made a careful study of the Tourismo and created a solution which will in no way affect the structural strength of the coach.
“Our offering will give as close as possible a well-finished OEM solution and will be aesthetically pleasing.
“We will cover all required certification to include Regulation 107.06 for the wheelchair space and Regulation R80.02 for seat anchorage strength.”
Ivor Jones General Manager at EVM says: “At this point we are not ruling out other models but we feel we are best to start with one model and get it right.
“There is considerable investment in testing, set-up and glazing to get a level of finish matching OEM providers and we believe being a specialist on one model is the best way to achieve a positive result.
“We see this as a good opportunity to maximise the use of a recently vacated factory until we have at our Kilbeggan site.
“This building was once used for the maintenance of coaches so we know this will work very well.
“Our offering will not just be for the PSVAR conversion, we are offering the service from collection at customers premises – conversion – re painting if required – certification and delivery.
“We believe when we are up to speed we will turn vehicles around in four weeks and have a capacity of up to 16 coaches per month.”
For customers wanting to know more on this new offering please visit www.evmdirect.co.uk or speak with any of the sales team:
- In the North – Matt Thompson 07860 958233
- In the South – Guy Billings 07736 635958
- HQ – Danny Mc Gee 07749 103203