DPD has underlined its commitment to a cleaner, ‘greener’ future by becoming the first UK customer for the all-new, fully-electric eVito from Mercedes-Benz Vans.
The parcels delivery leader has commissioned 10 Long-bodied versions of the ground-breaking, mid-sized model, which combines a competitive carrying capacity with zero tailpipe emissions.
The new vans will now enter service in London, where DPD commenced operations from its first, fully-electric final mile delivery centre in Westminster late last year. DPD is planning a further eight all-electric micro depots in the capital, as well as commencing a nationwide roll-out of its EV fleet as soon as possible.
“We envisage a major role for the Mercedes-Benz eVito in towns and cities nationwide,” confirmed Dave Winchcombe, Head of Transport at DPD UK. “It is larger than other currently available electric vans, and is therefore better suited to DPD’s business model, yet still offers the environmental compatibility which is essential to our strategy.”
Mr Winchcombe continued: “Mercedes-Benz vehicles form the backbone of our operation, and our partnership with the manufacturer is one that we value extremely highly. We are delighted, therefore, to have become the first customer for a van which, in terms of performance and practicality, represents a big step forward on the road towards a lower carbon future.”
The Mercedes-Benz eVito employs an electric motor which channels its 116 hp output to the front wheels via a single-speed automatic transmission – the column-mounted selector features C, E and E+ settings (Comfort, Eco and Extended range) settings. The electric driveline means acceleration is instantaneous.
The vehicle’s 41 kWh battery is securely mounted in a protective housing beneath the cargo floor, and does not compromise the load area. Fully recharged in six hours, it gives the eVito a range of approximately 93 miles – this is supplemented by recuperative energy technology, but will be reduced by constant driving with a full load.
DPD’s eVito models have 3.2-tonne gross weights. As Long-bodied variants, each offers up to 6.0m3 of cargo area, and a payload allowance of 1,043 kg. The eVito panel van is also available in Extra-long form, with 6.6m3 load volume and 1,073 kg maximum carrying capacity. The vehicle comes with three seats and, like its diesel-engined stablemate, sliding load doors on both sides.
Prior to delivery, the 10 vans underwent conversion by Manchester-based specialist Handsfree Group, which installs DPD’s own communications systems and fits additional security measures.
Dave Winchcombe continued: “We’ll now be delivering a programme of product-specific driver training with support from Mercedes-Benz, and will also be focusing on our route profiles to ensure we extract the maximum operational benefit from these important new vehicles.”
Rob Fowler, DPD UK’s General Manager – Corporate Social Responsibility & General Planning, added: “Reducing and neutralising our carbon footprint by providing smarter and more efficient urban delivery solutions, and investing in innovation, are at the heart of DPD’s DrivingChange programme.
“We want to be the leader in alternative fuel vehicles in the UK, and the Mercedes-Benz eVito, like the larger eSprinter which we also look forward to seeing, is integral to our EV strategy. Aside from their zero tailpipe emissions and exemplary environmental credentials, both vehicles offer the volume and payload potentials that make them genuinely viable propositions.”
Mercedes-Benz Vans expects to supply some 350 eVito models to major fleet customers this year. The first examples will be delivered to small- and medium-sized customers (SMEs) via Retailers early in 2020. The eSprinter is scheduled to make its UK debut towards the end of this year, with full production due to commence next spring.
DPD has won multiple industry awards and has just been voted best in the parcels delivery business for the sixth year running in Money Saving Expert’s customer satisfaction survey. DPD delivers over 250 million parcels a year from 65 UK locations, and operates a fleet of more than 8,000 vehicles, the overwhelming majority of which wear three-pointed stars. In the last quarter of 2018 alone, Mercedes-Benz Vans supplied its high-profile customer with more than 1,000 new-generation Sprinters.