Pro Installer December 2021 - Issue 105 - Page 41

Motoring
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DECEMBER 2021 | 41

Motoring

CONCRETE EVIDENCE OF ‘ GREEN ’ CREDENTIALS WITH MERCEDES-BENZ EVITO

One of the UK ’ s leading concrete frame contractors has announced its commitment to carbon reduction and won the approval of ‘ blue chip ’ customers by commissioning its first zero-emission vehicle , a fully-electric Mercedes-Benz van supplied by Rygor Commercials .
So pleased is the company with the battery-powered eVito that it has already ordered another three from the same Dealer , together with a couple of nine-seat eVito Tourer versions , all of which are due for delivery before the end of the month .
Nearly 20 years after it was established , the GCL ( Ground Construction Ltd ) Group has just become an employee-owned business , a development that recognises and rewards its team of more than 1,000 people for their contribution to the company ’ s success .
GCL Group , which moved recently to new headquarters in Welwyn Garden City , Hertfordshire , provides a comprehensive portfolio of civil engineering , groundworks and concrete solutions services , as well as tower cranes and skip hire .
The subject of a Mercedes-Benz Finance contract hire agreement , its new eVito has joined a fleet of more than 100 commercial vehicles , which includes diesel-engined Mercedes-Benz Sprinter vans that were also sourced from Rygor Commercials .
Since its inception GCL Group has completed work worth in excess of £ 800 million on more than 400 projects , the overwhelming majority of them in London and the Home Counties . A year ago it
was rated among the top 10 concrete frame contractors in the UK by the influential trade magazine , Construction News .
GCL Group ’ s first eVito is driven by PAT ( Portable Appliance Testing ) specialist Ion Nechifor , who uses it to travel to and from sites at which GCL is engaged . Many of these are located within the capital ’ s Congestion Zone , where the van ’ s electric powertrain means it is exempt from the £ 15 daily charge .
With its 41 kWh battery securely mounted in a protective housing beneath the floor , the long-bodied L2 eVito offers up
to 6.0m 3 of cargo space , which is easily accessed via rear doors that open to 180o and sliding load doors on both sides .
The vehicle offers an average range on a full battery charge of 91-92 miles ( WLTP combined ). This is ample for Ion to complete the 50-mile round trip into central London from Welwyn Garden City and back out again , but he will often seize the opportunity to replenish his vehicle ’ s battery while working on site .
GCL Group Transport Manager Danielle Middlemass explained : “ We wanted to put a marker down by adopting and working with EV technology as early as possible . Our investments in these fully-electric Mercedes-Benz vans reflect the fact that we ’ re a responsible company that ’ s committed to operating in an environmentally sensitive manner .
“ We also work for some very big companies that have been asking all of their suppliers what
they ’ re doing to reduce their emissions . In this respect the eVito represents a big ‘ tick in the box ’ for GCL Group .”
She continued : “ Ion enjoys driving his new Mercedes-Benz , which is exceptionally smooth and comfortable . I ’ m sure the same will be true of the two mechanics and a welder to whom we ’ ll be assigning our next three eVito vans , and of the carpenters , electricians and other tradesmen who will be travelling to and from sites in the eVito Tourers .”
Alan Weyman , Assistant Van Sales Manager at Rygor Commercials ’ Heathrow branch provided eVito panel van and Tourer demonstrators for GCL to trial . “ We had a week with each and they were both very impressive ,” recalled Danielle Middlemass . She added : “ The Rygor Commercials team are very accommodating . The contract hire agreements are competitively priced and afford us the twin benefits of
predictable fixed costs and Dealer maintenance .
“ They will also protect us against product obsolescence . There ’ s every likelihood that the technology will have moved on considerably by the time we reach the end of the terms , so it ’ s reassuring to know that if we wish to do so we can just hand the vehicles back and move on to the next generation .”
Alan Weyman commented : “ Like the Mercedes-Benz brands we are proud to represent , at Rygor Commercials we strive constantly to support customers in making the transition to a low-carbon future .
“ Efficient and intelligently connected , as well as sustainable , the eVito , eVito Tourer and eSprinter are ideally suited to a huge range of applications that extend far beyond final mile urban deliveries , as GCL Group is now discovering .”
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