Zero-emission Mercedes-Benz eVito is a cost-cutting breath of fresh air for Accent Services


A London-based air conditioning specialist is making substantial savings on the cost of sending one of its engineers into the city centre each day, after turning to Mercedes-Benz Dealer Rygor Commercials for its first fully electric van.

Accent Services’ eVito produces zero tailpipe emissions. Not only does this mean it is exempt from the £15 per day Congestion Charge, but at £4.40 the company is also paying £1.60 per hour less for on-street parking in the City of London than it would do for a diesel-engined van registered in or after 2015.

What’s more, because electricity costs significantly less than diesel, the eVito is a lot cheaper to run on a pence-per-mile basis than Access Services’ other, conventionally powered vans. With fewer moving parts, and less brake wear, it will also be easier and therefore less expensive to maintain, a fact reflected in the Mercedes-Benz Finance contract hire rate.

Accent Services operates from headquarters in Shepperton and serves clients nationwide, although most are located in London and the Home Counties. Established more than 40 years ago, the company is proud of its engineering-led ethos and expertise.

Its team of 28 field-based engineers provide a comprehensive package of support covering the design, installation, maintenance and repair of all commercial air conditioning equipment, while also undertaking air conditioning energy assessments.

Accent Services’ first Mercedes-Benz van is allocated to an engineer who lives in the south-east London suburb of Bexley and makes the 25-mile round trip into and out of the city centre each day. He parks the van at the nearest meter while working at customer premises.

The vehicle’s average range of 92 miles between recharges is therefore more than sufficient for the engineer’s needs. On reaching home at the end of the day he simply plugs in to the charging station mounted on his garage wall, and the 41 kWh battery is then fully replenished overnight.

A long L2 eVito PURE variant, the 3.2-tonne van offers a 905 kg payload capacity, while sliding doors on both sides, and twin rear doors, provide easy access to a 6.0m3 load bay – the battery is securely mounted in a protective housing beneath the floor, so does not impinge on the available space.

The front-wheel drive eVito’s 114 hp electric motor delivers instant acceleration and is paired with a single-speed automatic transmission. The steering wheel-mounted selectors allow drivers to choose between C, E and E+ (Comfort, Eco and Extended range) settings; recuperative energy is also recovered when decelerating.

Accent Services Managing Director Ian Marriott commented: “Rygor Commercials was able to supply the eVito on a one-year contract hire basis, which was very much appreciated. It’s given us a great opportunity to experience Mercedes-Benz Vans’ electric technology and assess its suitability for our needs, without having to enter into a more long-term commitment.

“The Dealer’s package incorporated the OZEV (Office for Zero Emission Vehicles) grant contribution, and included supply and installation of the NewMotion charging station at our engineer’s home. From our point of view, therefore, the set-up process could not have been easier.”

“The van is lovely,” Mr Marriott continued. “As well as contributing to improved air quality in London, I’m told it’s beautifully smooth and relaxing to drive. The other great thing from a business perspective, of course, is that it’s saving us a fortune.

“In fact, if the £75 per week we’re no longer paying for the Congestion Charge, combined with the additional reductions in parking meter payments and running costs, don’t cover in full the £100 weekly contract hire charge we’re paying for the vehicle, they won’t fall far short.”

He added: “Due to range limitations we’re not in a position yet to be able to put other members of our engineering team in electric vans. I’d like to think, though, that with technology continuing to advance at a rapid pace, we won’t be buying any more diesel vans, and that before too long we’ll be an all zero-emission fleet.”

“Change can sometimes be disruptive,” observed John Lloyd, Van Sales Manager at Rygor Commercials’ Heathrow branch. “However, as Accent Services has discovered, the process of switching to a battery-powered eVito or eSprinter is really very simple and, provided the application is right, can also be highly cost-effective.

“Its growing family of intelligently connected electric models underscores Mercedes-Benz Vans’ commitment to leading the way when it comes to sustainable mobility. From the breadth of our electric van range to the unrivalled support we can offer, Rygor Commercials is here to help businesses make the transition. Together with our customers, we’re charging into an exciting future.”