Healthcare logistics firm Movianto has added an electric Mercedes-Benz eSprinter van to its fleet on a trial basis.

The company, which has played a major role in the UK’s Covid-19 vaccination programme, runs a fleet of 120 temperature-controlled vans for vaccine delivery, alongside 100 uninsulated vans for other supplies. Most of its fleet is made up of diesel Sprinters.

The new eSprinter, supplied by Midlands Truck & Van, is operating from Movianto’s Slough depot, making daily deliveries of medical supplies to hospitals, care homes and retailers in the local area.

Movianto head of fleet Mervyn McIntyre said: “We take great care to consider the effect of our business on the environment and are always looking at ways to minimise its impact.

“This trial is helping us to understand how electric distribution vehicles can fit into our fleet, what attributes they offer and any operational issues they might present.

“The eSprinter offers all the proven benefits of a Mercedes-Benz van but with zero exhaust emissions. As with any battery-powered vehicle there’s a limit to its range but the electric driveline also brings advantages in other areas. 

“The van is very smooth, easy to drive in traffic and its near-silent driveline is much less likely to disturb customers or their neighbours when making deliveries.”

The eSprinter is said to have been well received by Movianto’s drivers, with Midlands Truck & Van’s fleet sales manager Erica Stredwick spending half a day at the Slough site to offer tips on operating the vehicle for optimum safety and efficiency.

McIntyre said: “As usual Erica’s input was invaluable,” Mr McIntyre added. “There’s growing pressure for everyone working in distribution to start considering electric vehicles where possible, and the efforts of Mercedes-Benz to help operators like us explore all the options can only have a positive effect.”