A new fleet of clean ‘green’ Mercedes-Benz vans is helping to clean the streets – and the air – in the London Borough of Southwark.
Southwark Council chose its 47 new Mercedes-Benz Sprinters for their unbeatable environmental credentials, after carrying out an extensive evaluation.
All the vans are powered by new engines that not only meet the latest Euro 5 emissions limits, but also the much more stringent – and voluntary – EEV (Enhanced Environmentally-friendly Vehicle) standard.
In addition, they are fitted with the innovative Mercedes-Benz ECO-Start system. This clever device serves to cut both fuel consumption and exhaust emissions simply by automatically cutting the engine, rather than leave it idling wastefully, when the vehicle is stationary.
When a driver stops – for instance in heavy traffic, or at the lights – he simply selects neutral, takes his foot off the clutch and after two seconds ECO-Start will stop the engine. To move off, he simply depresses the clutch pedal and the engine immediately purrs back into life.
"Choosing vehicles that would cause the lowest possible impact on the local and global environment was right at the top of our list of priorities when we made this decision," said Southwark Council Business Unit Manager Matthew Trott.
"We looked at several options – not many could offer Euro 5 engines, even fewer could provide vehicles to EEV specification, and only Mercedes-Benz could combine those two features with the ECO-Start system.
"Of course we also had to be satisfied that the vans would be ‘fit for purpose’, and would provide a reliable and efficient service to our council tax payers. The Sprinters are extremely well built and very cost-effective, as well as providing a comfortable and safe working environment for our staff."
All 47 vehicles were supplied to Southwark on five-year contract hire deals by London Hire, which numbers the majority of the capital’s borough councils, as well as other public sector and charitable bodies, among its clients. London Hire bought the Sprinters from Heathrow Mercedes-Benz dealer Rygor Commercials, and will provide full maintenance cover in partnership with the dealer throughout their working life.
The fleet comprises 35 Sprinter 310CDI cage tippers, with factory-built bodies, for street cleansing and parks maintenance duties; 10 Sprinter 310CDI welfare vehicles, used for transporting elderly or disabled residents to and from day centres; and a pair of 210CDI panel vans for use on community sports projects.
Since taking delivery, the council has returned to Rygor Commercials with an order for a further 10 Sprinters – nine are 3.5-tonne and 5.0-tonne dropsiders and access platform vehicles for the Highways Department, and one is a 316CDI panel van which will work for the Enforcement Department.