Supplied by Mercedes-Benz dealer Mertrux, the Melton Mowbray-based operator’s new addition features a temperature-controlled box body by Jackson Coachworks, of Loughborough.
Acquired with funding support from Mercedes-Benz Financial Services, the diesel-electric 7.5-tonner is powered by a 150bhp diesel engine working in parallel with a 40kW electric motor. An Idle Stop-Start system comes as standard and contributes to the vehicle’s fuel savings of up to 23% compared with a conventional diesel version.
The Eco Hybrid has a 5-tonne body and payload allowance. It has a Duonic dual clutch automated transmission and its electric motor and lithium batteries come with a 10-year warranty.
Soyfoods – which is known to many as Paul’s, after its founder Paul Jones – was the UK’s first manufacturer of tofu, a soy milk-based product. It also supplies a range of other organic foods including fruit and vegetables, dairy produce and breads.
A user of Mercedes vehicles since 1980, its refrigerated trucks and vans are employed on multi-drop operations along the M1 and A1 corridors, with the Eco Hybrid also delivering in London two or three times a week.
“We make a lot of our deliveries in London and other urban centres where high levels of nitrogen oxide mean the air quality is very poor,” says Jones. “Anything we can do to help alleviate this crisis by choosing a vehicle which offers significantly reduced emissions has to be worthwhile.
“The Canter EcoHybrid commands a price premium over a standard, diesel-engined version. But we should recoup most, if not all, of this additional outlay through the savings we’re making on our diesel bill.”