British rail infrastructure operator Network Rail has just ordered a couple of Mercedes-Benz Vito 7-seater minibuses that will serve as the shuttle for its concierge team from its Westwood Leadership Development Centre, located on the outskirts of Coventry, to the Tile Hill station and back.
That journey will be made numerous times daily, and the efficiency of the electric vans will definitely provide an advantage. The decision to purchase Vito E-CELL units was arrived at after a full year of evaluation, which was headed by Network Rail’s National Delivery Service Business Support Manager Steve Duffy.
Duffy said this all started when they dropped by the Mercedes-Benz area at the Commercial Vehicle Show held last year in Birmingham. “This was followed by extensive series of trials and tests involving vehicles with alternative drive concepts before we finally opted for the all-electric Mercedes-Benz Vito E-CELL.”
A 60 kW permanent-magnet electric motor drives the Vito E-CELL, and this allows the minibus to provide emissions-free service on the road. The motor has a range of 130 km or so thanks to the 36 kWh lithium-ion battery, and makes the vehicle great for short-distance travel like the ones Network Rail staff will be going on.
Mercedes-Benz UK handed the two units to Network Rail, a deal made possible through a CharterWay lease.