Intercounty Truck & Van’s determination to play a leading role in the transition from diesel to electric power prompted its engagement in a series of events that have promoted the financial as well as environmental benefits of zero-emission technology.
Highlights have included a Live & Charged showcase hosted by by the Mercedes-Benz Dealer at its branch in Milton Keynes. Staged over a couple of days, it was attended by established and prospective customers.
As well as ‘riding and driving’ battery-powered eSprinter and eVito models, guests received presentations from Mercedes-Benz Vans’ infrastructure partner EO Charging and electric commercial vehicle fleet specialist E-Van Guru. Representatives of both welcomed the opportunity to take part in question and answer sessions with operators.
Intercounty Truck & Van also sponsored the inaugural London to Brighton Electric Vehicle Rally. Its three battery-powered Mercedes-Benz vans – an eSprinter, an eVito panel van and a nine-seat eVito Tourer – joined the 59-mile run from Parliament Square to the seaside town’s Palace Pier and performed flawlessly.
Underscoring the eVito Tourer’s impressive potential range of 217-221 miles (combined WLTP), members of the Dealer’s team then travelled the 135 miles back to their headquarters in Wellingborough on the original battery charge.
Meanwhile, members of the Intercounty team mounted a display of electric Mercedes-Benz vans on Brighton’s famous Madeira Drive, where they met and introduced members of the public to the range.
In other initiatives, Intercounty Truck & Van has exhibited battery-powered vans bearing the three-pointed star at Built for the Future: East Midlands, a construction and property expo held at the Lincolnshire Showground, and at the Temperature-Controlled Storage & Distribution Show, which took place at the Peterborough Showground.
The Dealer has already clinched a landmark order for 168 eSprinters from parcel collection and delivery specialist Hermes, and is also negotiating with a high-profile builder’s merchant and one of the country’s best-known supermarkets about other major EV acquisitions.
According to Adrian George, Head of Van Sales at Intercounty Truck & Van: “Innovation is key if you want to sell electric vehicles. You cannot expect to succeed by simply by using traditional channels and methods.
“Our focus at this stage is on raising with potential EV customers the profiles of our own brand, and the one we’re proud to represent. We want operators to recognise and associate the Intercounty name with electric Mercedes-Benz vans, and we want them to know that we’re here to help them as they embark on their journeys towards a cleaner, ‘greener’ future.”
To this end, while the Dealer advises and assists those wishing to install charging points at their own premises, its Mercedes-Benz Van Talent sales programme trainee Rosalia Balogh has also been mapping the locations of public facilities around its five branch locations. This information is available to those taking extended test drives, as well as to customers purchasing vehicles.
Like other members of the manufacturer’s franchised network, Intercounty Truck & Van liaises with the Government’s Office for Zero Emission Vehicles (OZEV) to ensure that its customers benefit from the valuable grants that incentivise operators to switch to electric vans.
Adrian said that with the country’s most extensive charging infrastructure outside London, Milton Keynes was the obvious location for the highly successful Live & Charged event, at which an electric Formula E race car displayed in the showroom proved a popular attraction.
“We were delighted with the number of operators who took the time out of their busy schedules to attend, and we picked up several orders as well as a number of strong leads,” he confirmed. “Just as importantly, though, it was a great opportunity to spread the word about how, for many applications, an electric van can be significantly more cost-effective to run than a diesel.
“This technology is still in its infancy, but we already have the products and the people to help ensure that operators can transition smoothly and efficiently to the power of the future.”