Healthcare logistics specialist Movianto is trialling the fully electric Mercedes-Benz eSprinter on its fleet.
The business, which has played a pivotal role in the storage and delivery of Covid-19 vaccines, is exploring the viability of an electric van for the first time.
Mervyn McIntyre, head of fleet at Movianto, said: “We take great care to consider the effect of our business on the environment and are always looking at ways to minimise its impact.
“This trial is helping us to understand how electric distribution vehicles can fit into our fleet, what attributes they offer and any operational issues they might present.”
Movianto was commissioned to design and manage from scratch a system to receive nearly 89 million individual vaccine doses into its dedicated warehouses, and then to distribute them safely to treatment centres across the UK, at temperatures as low as -75 degrees.
The Bedford-based firm was already responsible for storing and delivering routine child vaccinations and large parts of the seasonal flu programme for the NHS throughout Britain.
It operates a fleet of 120 temperature-controlled vans, while a further 100 uninsulated vehicles are used for deliveries of other medical supplies which do not require cold storage.
With the exception of around 25 vans on short-term hire, to provide flexibility, all are Mercedes-Benz Sprinters.
McIntyre added: “The Sprinter is the most durable product in its class, with the best support and warranty package. The vehicles are very well built, highly cost-effective to operate and backed by a network of Dealers who are commercial vehicle specialists. They understand the requirements of businesses like ours, and are happy to carry out any servicing work outside normal hours – to suit our schedules, not their own.”
Movianto’s eSprinter was supplied by dealer Midlands Truck & Van. Working from the operator’s Slough depot, the vehicle is making daily deliveries of medical supplies to hospitals, care homes and retailers in the local area.
The Mercedes-Benz eSprinter’s 55kWh battery pack provides a range of 95 miles. It is mounted beneath the body, so does not impinge on cargo carrying space.