Central England Co-op is using a new fleet of eight Mercedes-Benz eVito vans to deliver groceries in a number of UK cities.
The new fully-electric vehicles are being deployed as part of two new online shopping projects in partnership with Appy Shop and Snappy Shopper – both using app-based platforms.
Using their apps, shoppers can choose items which are picked and packed at local Central England Co-op stores that are then delivered in the eVitos.
Charging points have been installed at participating stores. The Appy Shop trial is operating from selected outlets in Norfolk, Leicestershire and Staffordshire, and allows customers to select a timed delivery slot. The Snappy Shopper initiative, which commits to deliver within the hour, is focused on Birmingham and Derby.
Central England Co-op transport manager Gary Tomlinson said: “The impact of our operations on the environment sits at the heart of every decision we make, which is why the eco-credentials of the vehicles we were going to use to launch these two new services had to be front and centre. The eVito’s zero emissions driveline is a key selling point for both services and is heavily promoted in all of our marketing activities, as well as on the vans themselves.
“We researched the environmentally-friendly vehicle market thoroughly before concluding that the eVito represented the best fit for our business. It is perfectly sized for our requirements, and the sliding load doors on both sides are a definite advantage when loading and making deliveries.”
The eVito’s 41kWh battery is mounted beneath the floor, which means it does not impinge on the six cubic metres of cargo area offered by the long L2 variant.
Given that deliveries are relatively local, the vehicle’s range of approximately 93 miles is ample. So, too, is its 923Kg payload allowance.
The vans are the subject of a Mercedes-Benz Finance contract hire agreement, which incorporates a grant contribution from the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV).
Mercedes-Benz Vans and its Dealer have held training sessions in Birmingham and Derby to ensure the retailer’s drivers achieve the very best performance and efficiency from their electric vans.