Mango Logistics’ quest for a larger, battery-powered van to supplement its zero-emission fleet bore fruit, in the shape of what is believed to be the UK’s first used Mercedes-Benz eVito.
Supplied by Ciceley Commercials, which represents the three-pointed star from branches in Lancashire, Greater Manchester, Cumbria and south-west Scotland, the ex-demonstrator was less than a year old.
“We were already running a pair of smaller plug-in vans and 20 electric cargo bikes for city-centre deliveries,” recalled Henri Purvis, Last Mile Consultant with central London-based Mango Logistics.
“The next step was a larger van, to handle bigger deliveries. We needed one quickly, without a huge lead time, so took to the internet to see what was available. That’s when we spotted Ciceley’s advertisement for the eVito.”
Perfectly sized, and with most of the manufacturer’s three-year, unlimited mileage warranty still valid, as well as the additional reassurance of MobiloVan cover, which includes free, round-the-clock emergency roadside assistance, the vehicle ticked all the boxes.
Distance was no object either – Ciceley Commercials’ Sales Executive Nathan Jones arranged for the eVito to be delivered on a transporter, a round trip of 500 miles, while his specialist training colleague Kieran Keogh visited Mango Logistics’ headquarters in Bermondsey to provide a comprehensive familiarisation session for the operator’s drivers.
“The Dealer’s customer service was excellent, and turnaround of the vehicle could not have been any quicker or easier,” said Mr Purvis. “Our eVito arrived in perfect condition, looks great in our livery, and has already slotted seamlessly into the business. It’s a fantastic advert for our emissions-free delivery ambitions.”
Mango Logistics was established 20 years ago and relied initially on a fleet of motorbikes and small- to medium-sized vans to carry parcels and documents around the capital for its portfolio of business clients. As it produces zero tailpipe emissions the eVito is also exempt from the London Congestion Charge of £11.50 per day.
“The delivery sector in London has undergone rapid change, though, and is still evolving fast,” said Mr Purvis. “The vast majority of our work is carried out inside what is now the Ultra Low Emissions Zone that takes in much of the city centre.
“We’ve invested heavily in our electric cargo bikes, each of which can carry up to 250kg, but they’re not a solution for every situation. Sometimes we need to carry heavier loads over longer distances, so electric vans are the answer.”
The eVito has replaced a diesel-powered van. “It represents another step on our journey towards an entirely emissions-free fleet by the end of this year or early 2022,” he continued. “We considered products by other manufacturers too but the eVito seemed to offer the combination of range, size and cargo-carrying capability that best suits our requirements.
“Working around central London, the van will rarely cover more than 50 miles a day, but with lots of stopping and starting it’s in its element. The drive is very smooth and easy, with instant torque and no gearchanges to worry about. It’s a great addition to our fleet and works beautifully for final-mile delivery work.”
Mango Logistics’ Long-bodied eVito PROGRESSIVE offers a payload allowance of 905 kg and has a 6.0m3 cargo bay, which is easily accessed through sliding doors on both sides, as well as back doors. The van’s 41 kWh battery is securely mounted in a protective housing beneath the floor, which means it does not impinge on the available load space.
Mango Logistics has installed a charge point so the 3.2-tonne van can leave base with the full charge that will keep it on the road for approximately 92 miles. Should a longer journey be required, the driver can top up at one of the capital’s growing number of public charging points, for which the operator has a range of accounts.
The eVito’s electric motor produces 114 hp and drives the front wheels via a single-speed automatic transmission. Acceleration is instantaneous, while top speed is restricted as standard to 50 mph (80 km/h), although this can be increased on request. The steering wheel-mounted selectors allow drivers to choose between C, E and E+ (Comfort, Eco and Extended range) settings.
Mango Logistics’ customers have applauded the operator’s determination to invest in electric vehicles. “It’s gratifying to know we’re doing our bit for a cleaner, ‘greener’ tomorrow, while also ‘future-proofing’ our fleet against any new emissions-based restrictions,” added Henri Purvis.