What's New In The World Of Vans?
December’s events made it clear that fleet operators in the UK have little time to lose when replacing their diesel and petrol vans, while one operator was happy to add a significant amount of new non-electric vans to their fleet anyway. There was also the announcement of the winners of the International Van of the Year.
Here’s what’s been happening in the world of vans over the last month.
New Diesel Van Ban Brought Forward
The mission to electrify van fleets has grown a little more intense as the date of the ban on the sale of new diesel and petrol light commercial vehicles was confirmed as being brought forward to 2030.
The original proposal came in November, but now all fleet operators have been made aware that they only have ten years remaining to swap out their diesel and petrol vans for electric. The ban is part of the phase-out of fossil fuel vehicles which involves over 20 countries and cities around the world.
The ban date being brought forward has the potential to cause problems for some fleet operators, as the decade remaining could constitute just two replacement cycles.
It has been known for some time that hybrid vans will be banned from 2035, though exactly what defines ‘hybrid’ has yet to be fully clarified by the Government. At the moment, the Government says a hybrid van should be able to travel a significant distance with no carbon coming out of the tailpipe, though they do not clarify exactly what constitutes a significant distance.
Mercedes Sprinters Join Iceland Foods Home Delivery Fleet
One operator who doesn’t seem too concerned about the ban at this moment is Iceland Foods. They have recently increased their home delivery fleet by adding 250 new Mercedes-Benz Sprinter refrigerated vans.
The vehicles have been specially converted by Iceland Foods’ supply partner VMS Fleet Management to have an increased capacity for customer orders. Along with the Alex Original Twin Evap fridge unit, the new Sprinters also now include a triple compartment rear box which provides ambient, chill and frozen settings for different food and delivery requirements.
The Head of Delivered Sales at Iceland Foods, Kevin Tully, cited the significant increase in demand for Iceland’s online deliveries as the reason behind the acquisition of the new vans. In just one year, Tully says, Iceland’s online delivery volume has increased by over 400%.
The new Mercedes-Benz Sprinters were being delivered to Iceland sites across the UK during December and began operations just before Christmas.
International Van of the Year Award Winner
The winner of the International Van of the Year title for 2021 has been announced, with the Peugeot e-Expert, Citroën e-Dispatch and Vauxhall Vivaro-e claiming the title. All three were jointly developed by Groupe PSA.
The three electric vans received 131 points and the majority of first preference votes from the judging panel consisting of 24 members.
The International Van of the Year judging panel chairman, Jarlath Sweeney congratulated Groupe PSA on their ‘stringent research, development and investment on producing an excellent range of electric powered vans, that exceed expectations and without compromise.’
The Mercedes-Benz eSprinter took second place with 55 points, with the latest Vito came third with 36 points. Ford came fourth in the judging thanks to its new Transit Active and Trail models.
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