First Mile has become one of the first customers to take delivery of the fully electric Mercedes-Benz eVito van.
The five long-bodied eVito Pure L2s were supplied by dealer S & B Commercials and produce zero tailpipe emissions.
Each offers a payload allowance of 923 kg and 6.0m3 of load volume capacity – the 41 kWh battery is mounted in a protective housing beneath the floor, so does not impinge on the cargo area.
The eVito has a range of 93 miles and can be recharged in six hours from a wall box or at a charging station using a Type-2 connection.
A specialist provider of recycling services to more than 27,000 businesses in London and Birmingham, First Mile was established in 2004 by founder and CEO Bruce Bratley.
It now boasts a £30 million turnover and employs 150 drivers, as well as a head office team of more than 100 committed environmentalists.
First Mile operates from headquarters in Highbury, north London. A second depot in Park Royal, west London, is home to Sacktory, a pre-sorting facility which runs on 100% renewable energy, and it has a smaller base in Birmingham.
The company has a zero-to-landfill policy, and anything that cannot be recycled is transformed into renewable energy.
Transport manager Michal Szuminski is responsible for a fleet of 82 trucks and vans, which includes several Mercedes-Benz Sprinters.
“Our experience of running those vans has been entirely positive,” he said. “However, we are now focused on progressing as early as possible to an entirely zero-emission fleet.
“We’ve been looking forward to the arrival of the Mercedes-Benz eVito as its size and carrying capacity offer the perfect solution for our inner-city operations, where we have a number of busy rounds concentrated in small areas.”
The 3.2-tonne gvw eVito has three seats and, like its diesel-engined stablemate, sliding load doors on both sides, as well as a choice of side-hinged doors or a tailgate at the rear.
Four recuperation levels allow customers to optimise power consumption and thus extend the eVito’s range, says Mercedes.
Recuperative energy is recovered during deceleration. So, for example, the vehicle charges its battery when braking on descents, instead of losing energy in the form of heat.
“We love electric vehicles here at First Mile, and our drivers are delighted with their new Mercedes-Benz vans,” said Szuminski. “I’ve never had any doubts about the eVito’s ability to do the work and contribute to our own green credentials.”
S & B Commercials’ business development manager and electric vehicle consultant Dean Hadden secured the order.
Like all Mercedes-Benz vans, the latest additions to the First Mile fleet came with MobiloVan cover, which includes free emergency roadside assistance.
“Dean’s customer-focused service and the high level of back-up gives me every confidence that we’ve made the right decision,” said Szuminski.
The eVito’s electric motor produces 114PS and drives the front wheels via a single-speed automatic transmission. Acceleration is instantaneous, while top speed is restricted to 50 mph - although this can be increased on request.
The column-mounted selector allows drivers to choose between C, E and E+ (Comfort, Eco and Extended range) settings.
The Mercedes-Benz eVito is eligible for the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) Grant, which means customers can save up to £8,000 from a 20% reduction on the vehicle purchase price.
The vehicles join the fleet just as First Mile has taken further steps towards reducing emissions with the installation of charging infrastructure at its west London depot.