The vans are going into service in London from DPD’s first fully electric final mile delivery centre in Westminster (pictured). The operator is planning to open eight more of these depots for the capital, as well as rolling out an electric vehicle fleet nationwide.
“We envisage a major role for the Mercedes-Benz eVito in towns and cities nationwide,” says 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.”
The eVito’s electric motor channels its 115bhp 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 vehicle’s 41kWh battery is mounted in a protective housing beneath the cargo floor. 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 has up to 6m3 of cargo area, and a payload allowance of 1,043kg. The eVito panel van is also available in Extra-long form, with 6.6m3 load volume and 1,073kg maximum carrying capacity. The vehicle comes with three seats and, like the diesel version, has sliding load doors on both sides.
Prior to delivery, DPD’s vans were converted by Manchester-based Handsfree Group, which installs DPD’s own communications systems and fits additional security kit.
The operator is also planning to introduce the Mercedes-Benz eSprinter as part of its electric vehicle strategy.
The eSprinter is due to make its UK debut later this year, with full production beginning next spring.