Leading utilities contractor Clancy has taken a positive step towards a ‘greener’ tomorrow by setting seven battery-powered Mercedes-Benz eVito vans on the road.
The subject of a Mercedes-Benz Finance contract hire agreement, they arrived via preferred supplier Midlands Truck & Van. The operator will now be monitoring their performance and suitability for its various areas of work.
The eVito vans are based at Clancy depots in the south and east of England, and undertake a range of duties, from supporting water meter replacement teams, to delivery of essential parts and materials to construction sites in London, where the eVito’s Congestion Charge exemption translates into welcome £11.50 per vehicle daily savings.
David Janes, head of operations at Clancy Plant, said: “We are working hard to find ways to drive sustainability as we continue towards our goal of net-zero carbon emissions by 2030. Decarbonising our fleet will be crucial if we want to achieve this, and so we are constantly assessing the technology available to support our business activity in a sustainable way. Investing in fully electric vehicles will be an important pillar of our net-zero strategy.
“We plan to install charging points across many of our depots in the next year, to pave the way for the introduction of more electric vehicles. We’ll use them wherever they can meet our operational requirements.
“As the market advances we’ll be keeping track of new developments such as longer-range batteries, and we’re investigating other ways to reduce the impact of our operations on the environment too, for example by using cleaner gas-to-liquid fuel for our diesel-engined vehicles.”
Clancy’s long L2 eVito vans have gross weights of 3.2 tonnes. Five are PURE variants with payload allowances of 905 kg, and an average range on a full battery charge of 92 miles. The remaining two are PROGRESSIVE models, with colour-coded bumpers and wheel covers. All wear specially designed graphics reinforcing Clancy’s ambition to ‘harness green technology for the good of the planet’.
Like its diesel-engined stablemate the eVito has sliding load doors on both sides, providing easy access, in the case of the L2 variant, to up to 6.0m3 of cargo area – the 41 kWh battery is securely mounted in a protective housing beneath the floor, so does not impinge on the available space.
Clancy acquired its first Mercedes-Benz vehicles from Midlands Truck & Van five years ago. In 2020 it took delivery of more than 500 new vans bearing the three-pointed star, including examples from all three core model lines in the manufacturer’s range.
“Our Mercedes-Benz vans are very reliable,” explained Mr Janes. “The fact that they are hardly ever off the road for anything other than routine maintenance is crucial. They’ve also been impressively cost-effective to run across a tough working regime in which each averages around 30,000 miles per year.
“We receive excellent back-up from the manufacturer and its Dealer. Midlands Truck & Van’s Account Manager Erica Stredwick understands our operation, and our specific requirements, while its Service Director Michael Carolan has helped us get the best from the PRO connect fleet management software fitted to the newest vans. In the case of the eVito, for example, the fact that the battery charge status can be checked via an app on the driver’s phone is a small but significant aid to efficient operation.”
Multi-award-winning Clancy is one of the largest privately-owned construction firms in the UK. With a 60-year track record in technical expertise and innovation, the business employs and trains more than 2,400 people to build and maintain essential infrastructure in the water, energy and civil engineering sectors throughout the UK.
Since Clancy placed its order Mercedes-Benz Vans has responded to customer feedback by realigning the eVito range around the PROGRESSIVE trimline. The vehicle now comes with a facelifted, chrome-finned grille and a higher capacity charging cable, as well as additional equipment including a reversing camera and Audio 30 entertainment with DAB radio, an Anti-theft Protection Package and double-locks.
Customers can further upgrade their eVito by choosing the optional PLUS Package, which incorporates extra features such as electrically folding exterior mirrors, 17-inch full wheel covers and PARKTRONIC parking sensors.