Proprietor Don Borthwick is absolutely clear that he wants Third Dimension Manufacturing (3DM) to be as ‘green’ as possible – which helps to explain why it’s now running a fully electric Mercedes-Benz eVito Tourer.
The family-owned company, which is based in Coalville, Leicestershire, makes acrylic display cases, screens and other point-of-sale or promotional items.
“The main material we work with is acrylic, a type of plastic which, unfortunately, people associate with some of the worst forms of pollution in the environment,” Mr Borthwick observed.
“However, compared to carelessly discarded single-use products, our acrylic has a very low impact on the environment. We recycle every scrap of off-cut and waste, and we also buy in ‘greencast’ acrylic sheet – it’s already 100% recycled, and can be recycled again after use.”
He continued: “Once we start talking to people they quickly understand how hard we’re trying to be as environmentally friendly as possible. We’ve introduced a series of measures to reduce our emissions ‘footprint’, including upgrading our machinery with energy-efficient motors, and have committed to a programme of changing all of our interior lights to LEDs.
“First impressions are also important, though, which is one reason we decided to ‘go electric’ by acquiring a new Mercedes-Benz delivery vehicle from eStar Truck & Van.”
Mr Borthwick already had some 20 years’ experience in the industry when he established Third Dimension Manufacturing in 2010. His wife Kellie is a co-Director, while the couple’s son Geraden is Machine Manager/Fabricator and daughter Coral manages the accounts.
Powered by a 100kWh battery that can be restored to 80% of full capacity in as little as 40 minutes, the eVito Tourer will cover 217-221 miles (combined WLTP) between charges. This impressive range was key to the vehicle’s attraction for Don Borthwick.
“We’d been looking at electric vans for some time but were always put off by the limited distances they would cover before the batteries needed replenishing,” he said. “We don’t have fixed, short-run distribution patterns, but frequently travel long distances to serve and visit our customers.
“The fact that our journeys are unpredictable means we can’t rely on being able to top up batteries during the day, so need to know we can always get out and back safely, then recharge the battery fully overnight. The eVito Tourer gives us full confidence that we’ll never be stranded.”
Class-leading aftercare adds even more security. Like all Mercedes-Benz vans the eVito is backed by a three-year, unlimited mileage manufacturer’s warranty and comes with MobiloVan cover, which features free round-the-clock emergency roadside assistance and includes ‘out of charge’ cover. The battery is guaranteed for eight years/160,000 km.
Dealer eStar Truck & Van is now arranging for Mercedes-Benz Vans’ infrastructure partner EO Charging to fit a charging point at Third Dimension Manufacturing’s premises.
The eVito Tourer comes with three rows of seats and can accommodate up to eight passengers. The SELECT trimline features upgraded Comfort seats with armrests, while other enhancements include a chrome grille and interior highlights, colour-coded bumpers and distinctive, 17-inch alloy wheels.
Third Dimension Manufacturing’s new vehicle also boasts TEMPMATIC air-conditioning, and a comprehensive array of safety technology that includes the Active Brake Assist and ATTENTION ASSIST systems.
“The fact that the seats are removable makes the vehicle even more adaptable to a range of uses,” continued Mr Borthwick. “We can transport colleagues to and from working sites or pick up customers who are visiting our premises. Or we can remove the seats altogether, to maximise the cargo space for transporting larger loads.”
He added: “The eVito Tourer is also great to drive, and built to the very high standard we’ve come to expect from Mercedes-Benz, having operated its diesel vans for a number of years. Not only does the new vehicle reflect our determination to be as environmentally-friendly as possible in everything we do, but it’s also a highly effective and efficient all-round package. We’re delighted with it.”