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February 24, 2012updated 25 Jan 2022 2:36pm

Fleet Friday: Hermes, VW and Daf

Hermes, Germanys largest logistics service provider and operator of 14,000 private parcel receiving offices, has added to its electric fleet with a four-year trial of the Fiat 500 E from commercial vehicle supplier Karabag.

By Richard Irvine-Brown

A weekly roundup of fleet news around the UK and Europe from Leasing Life, sister publication of Motor Finance

Hermes expands electric fleet with Fiat 500E

Hermes, Germany’s largest logistics service provider and operator of 14,000 private parcel receiving offices, has added to its electric fleet with a four-year trial of the Fiat 500 E from commercial vehicle supplier Karabag.

Hermes has tested electric vehicles for Mercedes-Benz, Renault and Smart since the mid-1980s and claims to have reduced its carbon emissions by 42% since 1994.

The 500 E will be used with Hermes’ fashion retail client bonprix.


Daf LF is US ‘truck of the year’ Daf LF

Sales growth for the Daf LF in Germany, Italy, Poland, the Czech Republic, France and the Netherlands has seen manufacturer Leyland Trucks expand to new markets including Australia, Israel and Russia.

The global spread of the Daf LF also includes the Americas, where the Peterbilt Model 210, has won the US American Truck Dealers’ medium duty commercial truck of the year 2012.


Alphabet dives in to car pools

Multi-marque fleet funder Alphabet is to launch corporate car-sharing scheme AlphaCity in the UK next month.

Alphabet believes the focus on business travel will make the cost of vehicle ownership for AlphaCity members a viable substitute for taxis and rental vehicles.

The launch of AlphaCity is set for 16 March in Fulham, London.


SSP Group and TR Fleet management deal

Food distributor to travel locations SSP has signed a new service and management agreement with independent fleet consultancy TR Fleet.

TR will source funded vehicles and review maintenance and management for SSP’s 45 company cars, 200 cash allowance and grey fleet drivers and salary sacrifice scheme for 1,400 employees, mainly BMW, Vauxhall and Volkswagen cars on a three-year or 75,000-mile cycle.


New VW Caddy finance offers Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles Caddy Match

German manufacturer Volkswagen (VW) is offering a new range of contract hire or finance lease options on the Caddy Match special edition model in the UK.

Finance, through VW Commercial Vehicle Finance, with interest rates starting at 3.99% is available across the range from the 1.6 litre TDI 75 PS to the 2.0 litre TDI 140 PS.


Seven vans selected for UK EV grant

The Department for Transport has confirmed the first seven vans eligible for the plug-in grant of up to £8,000 or 20% of value to encourage uptake of electric vehicles (EVs).

The seven vans which meet the criteria are: Ford Transit Connect Electric, Mercedes-Benz Vito E-Cell, Renault Kangoo ZE and Smith Edison, all available now; Faam Ecomile and Faam Jolly 2000, both available in March; and Mia U, available in May.

Renault has put great stock in the supply and aftersales of its EV range in the UK and ISS and JC Decaux have already placed orders for the Kangoo ZE which, Renault calculates, will be available at a reduced price of £13,592  with up to four years’ finance and four years’ / 100,000-mile warranty.

Franco-German model the Mia U will retail for around £21,000 after the grant, according to the manufacturer, or £22,000 for the L and box van models.

Richard Deslandes, Mia head of UK sales, speaking while stood beside government representatives at the announcement of the grant, said “the box van is a key component of the product range Mia electric plans to bring to the UK market later this year. We hope the government’s decision to extend the grant to cover vans will incentivise business owners to use electric vehicles.”

The Vito E-Cell will be available on a contract hire package from Mercedes-Benz Commercial Vehicles, ranging from one to four years, and has an equal payload to a regular van, claims Steve Bridge, van sales and marketing director for Mercedes-Benz UK.

Funding for the grant has been secured until 2015 and is part of £400m earmarked by the coalition government to promote low-emission technology.

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