Moving forward with Mercedes-Benz: Transport Manager Danielle Middlemass is pictured with GCL Group’s new, battery-powered eVito van

GCL Group delivers concrete evidence of its ‘green’ credentials with battery-powered 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 6.0m3 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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