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JULY 2020






BACKING ALTERNATIVE FUELS We find out about John Lewis Partnership’s target to stop using fossil fuels by 2030

Commercial Vehicle News



British Gas orders 1,000 electric Vauxhall Vivaro-e van

Updated BVRLA Fair Wear & Tear Guide published

British Gas has ordered 1,000 new all-electric Vivaro-e vans from Vauxhall, which will arrive over the next 12 months and be rolled out nationwide across the British Gas engineer workforce. It is claimed to be the largest electric vehicle order for a commercial fleet in the UK. Centrica, owner of British Gas, has committed to electrifying its 12,000 strong fleet by 2030 and will be making further orders with Vauxhall for electric vehicles as soon as they are available. This may include the all-electric Combo-e – available from Summer 2021. The engineers who receive the new vans will be chosen from volunteers but also targeting areas where it is important to lower emissions and where a van already needs replacing. The British Gas engineers will install the chargers at engineer homes. The company is currently upskilling engineers in EV charging and is accelerating EV adoption for homes and businesses with

The BVRLA has updated its Fair Wear & Tear Guide for commercial vehicles over 3.5 tonnes and minibuses up to 17 seats. The guide provides a widelyadopted industry standard that covers every aspect of a vehicle’s condition when it is returned to a lease company at the end of a contract. The association produces three guides – for cars, vans and commercial vehicles over 3.5t. This new guide for commercial vehicles over 3.5t has been updated following a review by an expert group of representatives from the BVRLA, fleet operators, auction houses, de-fleet organisations, the Road Haulage Association and the Freight Transport Association. BVRLA director of fleet services, Amanda Brandon said: “The BVRLA Fair Wear & Tear Guide forms an important part of our governance regime and it sets the industry standard

charger installs and EV tariffs. Matthew Bateman, managing director, British Gas, said “Our engineers and their vans are part of the local community they serve and it’s important we reduce the emissions of our vans so that we are contributing towards better air quality in their area and the environment. We are committed to the transition to electric vehicles which involves changing our fleet as well as helping consumers and businesses with charge points and infrastructure. “We chose to work with Vauxhall as they were able to give us a large number of high-quality and low emission vans to help us effectively serve our customers – and they will also work with us on future EV solutions. Transport is a key area where we can improve carbon emissions and is an important part of our strategy to meet our net zero targets.” READ MORE tinyurl.com/y8btzfn8


Ford introduces automatic EV mode in PHEV Transit Custom Ford is introducing geofencing technology in its PHEV vans to automatically switch to emission-free electric mode whenever they enter predefined areas, such as congestion and low emission zones. Vehicle operators can also create custom “green zones” to encourage low-emission driving around locations such as schools, playgrounds and warehouses. When the vehicle leaves a controlled zone, it can automatically switch to the most appropriate drive mode to complete the next leg of the journey – for example, engaging the onboard EcoBoost petrol engine to generate electric power and extend the vehicle’s range. The Geofence module in the Transit PHEV records information about electric-only operation within geofenced areas. The encrypted data


could then be securely shared with local authorities to confirm compliance with lowemission zone regulations and vehicle charging schemes. The Transit Custom PHEV has an electric range of 35 miles (NEDC), and an onboard 1.0litre EcoBoost petrol engine can charge the battery ondemand to extend their range to more than 310 miles NEDC.

READ MORE tinyurl.com/ybmg6y26

when it comes to best practice for assessing fair wear and tear on leased vehicles. “Customers who lease from a BVRLA member have the reassurance of knowing that they are doing business with a professional company which adheres to the BVRLA Code of Conduct, delivers industry best practice and offers free access to the BVRLA Alternative Dispute Resolution service. “Anybody leasing a vehicle should request a copy of the BVRLA Fair Wear & Tear Guide. It provides customers with essential advice on vehicle maintenance and upkeep to help prevent unacceptable wear and tear from occurring. It defines the industry standard for every aspect of the vehicle’s condition, so there should be no surprises when a vehicle is returned.” READ MORE tinyurl.com/uwkyufe


LEVC announces details of new VN5 range-extender van LEVC has set out further details of its first electrified van VN5, which is available to order now with deliveries expected at the end of the year. Based on the same architecture and eCity range-extender technology as LEVC’s TX electric taxi, VN5 has a pure EV range of over 58 miles and a total flexible range of over 300 miles can be achieved. The new electric van delivers a ‘distribution to door’ service, combining a long range with zero emissions capability. It can be charged in 30 minutes thanks to its 50kW DC charging capability, which could be done while loading/unloading. VN5’s long 25,000-mile service intervals mean time spent off the road is further minimised. It has up to 5.5m3 capacity, VN5 cargo capacity easily accommodates two Euro sized pallets with a gross payload of 830kg. It has been built with a large side-loading door (enabling a pallet


to be side-loaded) and a 60/40 split door at the rear to make loading and unloading easy for the driver.​ VN5 will enter the market later this year, offering generous standard equipment, low operating costs, a comprehensive warranty and strong residual values. Three VN5 variants are available – Business, City and Ultima - with a high level of standard equipment and always with the demands of the user in mind. All VN5 models feature 50kW DC rapid charging and minimum 11kW AC fast charging capability. The flagship Ultima features 22kW AC charging capability as standard. In addition, LEVC has worked with a number of Europe’s leading convertors to ensure the VN5 can be equipped with racking, roof racks, light bars and other bespoke modifications required by customers in this sector.

READ MORE tinyurl.com/y7f2f5jh

Royal Mail to trial prototype of LEVC’s new electric van Royal Mail will trial a prototype of LEVC’s electric van, the VN5, for use in real-world testing. The prototype is a van conversion of LEVC’s TX Taxi and will be used by organisations ahead of official VN5 launch later this year. The VN5 cargo capacity easily accommodates two Euro sized pallets with a gross payload of over 800kg. It has been built with a large side-loading door (enabling a pallet to be sideloaded) and a 60/40 split door at the rear to make loading and unloading easy for the driver. ​ The eCity technology meets the demanding duty cycles of various different sectors, and, for logistics businesses such as Royal Mail, VN5 has been designed to provide ‘distribution to door’ – not just last mile – capability, creating a link between out of town depots and city centres. ​ ​Paul Gatti, fleet director at Royal Mail said: ​“As a Company,

we are committed to making changes to our operations that reduce our environmental impact, whilst ensuring we continue to meet customer expectations. Alongside the introduction of electric vans in locations across our business, this trial is part of a programme of initiatives that allow us to experiment with ways to achieve this, whilst enabling us to continue to deliver letters and parcels safely, efficiently and responsibly.”​ LEVC’s trial phase will take place over the next few months and prototypes will be trialled with a wide range of businesses, from tool & equipment hire to energy suppliers. These companies have been specifically chosen to put the vehicle through a variety of different use cases. READ MORE tinyurl.com/yax9mf7h


Renault offers conversions of Master Z.E. for increased choice Renault is now offering conversions of its Master Z.E., with the choice of panel van, platform cab and chassis cab. They are offered with three lengths (L1, L2, L3), two heights (H1, H2) and a Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW) of 3.1 or 3.5 tons, allowing up to 1,700kg of payload (before conversion). The complete Master Z.E. range offers a WLTP range of 75 miles and full recharge in six hours from a 7kW Wallbox or public charging point. The new chassis cab version is available with a maximum payload of 1,620 kg before conversion. The Master Z.E. chassis cab allows for a whole host of conversions including Tipper, Dropside and Luton Box Van. For example, a Master Z.E. equipped with a 20 m3 large volume box and a tail lift guarantees 1,000 kg of payload. Two platform cab versions are now available with a payload up to 1,740 kg. This increased payload allows for

larger conversions, including the possibility of a Luton LowLoader of up to 20 m3, with the advantage of a low loading sill. The four practical panel van versions available, with volumes between 9 and 13 m3, now offer up to 1,490 kg of payload. This increased payload makes it possible to transport heavier equipment or even to convert into a minibus. They are available to order from October 2020.

Commercial Vehicle News


FTA’s Natalie Chapman LERS searches for its new environmental superstar Natalie Chapman, head of urban policy, FTA

FTA’s Logistics Emissions Reduction Scheme (LERS) has now opened entries to its Leadership in Emissions Reduction Award 2020. Sponsored by ExxonMobil, the award recognises and celebrates the logistics company most committed to reducing its emissions and leading the way in environmental excellence over the past 12 months. While all members of the scheme have shown real dedication to the cause – average member emissions are close to 13% lower per vehicle compared to industry as a whole – at LERS, we are keen to discover a standout environmental superstar who can inspire and lead others on their journey to decarbonisation. In the 2019 awards, we celebrated two LERS members that had registered truly outstanding performances in emissions reductions: Sainsbury’s and the John Lewis Partnership, awarding them with the Leadership in Fleet Efficiency Award and Excellence in Innovation Award respectively. Sainsbury’s was chosen for utilising a wide range of fuel efficiency measures to reduce its emissions; this strategy led to an impressive 19% saving in carbon emissions. Measures introduced in their scheme included employing the latest in aerodynamic technology, installing solar panels on rigids and trailers to provide a green alternative to running ancillary equipment and implementing fuel efficient tyres across its entire fleet; these are monitored regularly to achieve maximum efficiency. Joint winner, the John Lewis Partnership was recognised for its pledge to transition its heavy-duty vehicle fleet to biomethane by 2028; these trucks emit more than 80% less carbon dioxide than a standard diesel alternative. And, with its ambition to establish and run a zero-carbon fleet by 2045, the judges felt the company has a robust decarbonisation strategy, with a real desire to lead the way to a greener future. Its efforts are aligned with both the objectives of LERS and the government’s voluntary industry target on emission reduction. If you think your company could be our next winner, please visit lers.org.uk/home/lers-awards for more information and to enter. The award is open to all members of LERS, a free-to join initiative to record, report and reduce carbon emissions from freight transport, administered by FTA. The closing date for entries is 21 August 2020. Freight Transport Association (FTA), is one of the UK’s leading business groups, representing logistics businesses which are vital to keeping the UK trading, and more than seven million people directly employed in the making, selling and moving of goods. With COVID-19, Brexit, new technology and other disruptive forces driving change in the way goods move across borders and through the supply chain, logistics has never been more important to UK plc. FTA supports, shapes and stands up for safe and efficient logistics, and is the only business group which represents the whole industry, with members from the road, rail, sea and air industries, as well as the buyers of freight services such as retailers and manufacturers whose businesses depend on the efficient movement of goods.


For more information about FTA and its work, including its research into the impacts of COVID-19 on the supply chain, please visit www.fta.co.uk.




A company backing alternative fuels As well as building a dedicated biomethane gas filling station at its head office in Bracknell this year, the John Lewis Partnership has a target to stop using fossil fuels across its entire 4,800 fleet by 2030. Justin Laney, the company’s general manager of central transport, talks through the plans

John Lewis Partnership has been using biomethane since 2015. What makes this fuel suitable for your objectives? Transport contributes over 25 per cent to the John Lewis Partnership’s operational carbon emissions and that’s why we established an industry leading aim to have a zero carbon transport fleet by 2045. Biomethane forms an important part of our transport carbon reduction. And because long distance, heavy trucks form about 15 per cent of our fleet and are accounting for 70 per cent of our emissions, these vehicles were our priority and are the hardest to tackle. We’ve been working with alternative fuels for over a decade. Back in 2011 we worked with Imperial College Biofuels Department - a leader in this field – to assess a broad range of biofuels,


time being as it’s 100 per cent renewable looking for the best combination of true and is made from food waste and food sustainability, sufficient scale to make a processing waste materials rather than real difference, and potential to deliver a diesel, each vehicle reduces CO2 emissions credible business case vs diesel. Biomethane by 80 per cent, with each truck saving created from the right waste materials over 100 tonnes of CO2 every year. These was identified as the optimum solution. gas trucks are also quieter, decreasing To achieve a zero net carbon fleet we noise pollution, which is especially need to transition to a fully electric heavy important when we do urban deliveries. vehicle fleet but current technology and infrastructure does not support this so we Tell us about the biomethane have invested in biomethane – a low-carbon gas filling station you are alternative to diesel – for the past eight having built at your head office years and have been one of the pioneers Our new biomethane gas filling station in the UK. Our commitment to it is so will be built in conjunction with strong that by 2028 all 600 of our Air Liquide and will open at heavy goods vehicles for John Althoug the Waitrose head office in Lewis and Waitrose will be Bracknell in December switched to biomethane. biometh h 2020, making it our Although biomethane isn’t net ane first on-site gas filling isn’t net zero, it is the z e r o , the bes station. It will facilitate best alternative for the t alternait is for the the conversion of t iv e t im e 120 Waitrose heavy b eing as it’s 10 goods vehicles to 0 p e r cent renewa biomethane and b le a n complement gas filling d is made fr om f stations already in use near to John Lewis and waste ood Waitrose regional distribution centres in Leyland, Lancashire, and in Northampton.



The station will be funded, built and managed by Air Liquide and we have a seven year contract to draw fuel from the site. How much carbon have you saved since using biomethane? To date, about 17,000 tonnes of carbon have been saved and when all the heavy trucks are running on biomethane in 2028, we’ll be saving around 60,000 tonnes per year. For the new gas filling station we are building in Bracknell, over the next seven years, this site alone will save over 70,000 tonnes of CO2, equivalent to the carbon footprint produced by over 13,000 UK households. The John Lewis Partnership has revealed an ambition to stop using fossil fuels across its entire 4,800 fleet by 2030. What does that mean for its vans and cars? We want to reduce carbon emissions across our entire transport network further and the Partnership’s ambition is to eliminate fossil fuels from its commercial vehicle and car fleet by 2030. This radical initiative would see 1,750 electric vans and light trucks introduced and approximately 750 refrigerated trailers converted from diesel to electric drive. In addition, the Partnership’s 1,300 strong car fleet would become 100 per cent electric and any remaining vehicles that could not be converted to biomethane or electric will use hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO) biodiesel.

We want to reduce carbon emissions across our entire transport network further and the Partnership’s ambition is to eliminate fossil fuels from its commercial vehicle and car fleet by 2030 of alternative fuels early, so you have maximum experience before rolling out. Engage with the many bodies out there who can help with advice such as the Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership, Centre for Sustainable Road Freight and the FTA. I’d also point out that infrastructure is more difficult than vehicles, but it

is essential for it to be in place before vehicles are delivered. Make sure you have redundancy built in and mitigations for failures or late commissioning. L FURTHER INFORMATION www.johnlewispartnership.co.uk

Justin Laney, general manager of central transport, John Lewis Partnership

What advice would you give to other businesses looking to green their operations? My advice would be to focus on efficiency initially, reducing the energy needs of your operation by reducing miles driven and improving MPGs. Start trials





Alternative Fuels

The realities of running on gas power

“It’s been frustrating that our operating cycles have been disrupted for three out of six-months with the trucks, so we are still yet to accurately compare operating costs with our diesel trucks, although early signs are promising,” he added. IVECO and supplying dealer Haynes Trucks in Maidstone delivered initial education workshops to ensure drivers were thoroughly trained and knowledgeable about the natural gas technology powering their new fleet. This Six months on from taking delivery of ten IVECO Stralis Natural included how to refuel safely and how to get Power trucks, Nicholls Transport is enjoying strong driver the best performance from their vehicles. Drivers have quickly become accustomed to the trucks, acceptance and is finding urban deliveries and motorway with the most often heard feedback being trunking routes are the sweet spot for gas power ‘how quiet they are compared with diesel’, particularly on longer motorway journeys. Nicholls’ on-site refuelling station set up in Nicholls Transport’s fleet of ten IVECO Stralis Adapting to gas-power partnership with GasRec has been busy fuelling NP trucks, powered by Liquified Natural Gas Half of the gas-powered fleet is away from its own fleet as well as receiving (LNG), have worked throughout the Covidbase all week with the drivers regular visits from other UK and 19 pandemic, transporting everything from quickly adjusting to the European hauliers to fill up with paper and timber to food, bulk recycling national LNG refuelling Drivers gas as they travel through and building supplies across the UK. network and planning have be c o Kent. Although it has been Darren Sherlock, finance director of their routes accordingly. m e accusto shut to external operators Nicholls Transport sees a bright future Sherlock is keen to m e d the truc t o during the Covid-19 for operators using gas trucks to deliver see the number of k pandemic, Nicholls long goods into large urban areas and when depots offering gas most o s, with the ften he term aspiration is to scale operating on longer trunking routes. continue to grow ard feedba up its refuelling forecourt “We carry out regular deliveries of to further improve c k being how qu to increase its capacity as plasterboard from a local manufacturer in Kent the operating ie more fleets switch to gas. to construction sites in central London. We can efficiencies of running compar t they are “The IVECO and GasRec travel into the heart of the city without being an LNG fleet. ed with partnership has been very penalised and with a clear emissions conscience. “The network needs diesel strong, and they have both “As more low emission zones are to keep improving, we helped and supported us across all launched in our cities so gas will become do occasionally run slightly aspects of buying and running gas trucks. key for operators to carry out work for their off-piste in some areas of the “We maintain our view that gas is the only customers. Our trucks are also quieter than country to ensure we can refuel. My drivers alternative fuel to diesel suitable for operation at diesels which means we can make deliveries can cover a 300-mile round trip from our 44-tonnes and with more operating restrictions without compromising local noise levels. Sittingbourne base without having to being introduced for diesel trucks then gas will “Half of our Stralis NPs work predominantly fill up, but we do encourage drivers not be the fuel of choice for many more operators on trunking routes and they are performing to risk running out of gas,” he said. during the coming years,” said Sherlock. L very well. The level of driver comfort is Nicholls is yet to get an early indication good and complemented by the lower of Stralis NP running costs compared with in-cab noise levels. The gas power is very his 110-strong diesel IVECO fleet due to FURTHER INFORMATION efficient when working for long periods operating cycles being disrupted by Covidwww.nicholls-uk.co.uk at motorway speeds,” he added. 19 and December factory shutdowns.



Cargo Bikes

The way forward for last mile cycle logistics A report from the Cross River Partnership explains how local authorities can support the uptake of cycle logistics to spur on a green recovery in cities as they emerge from lockdown Cargo bike deliveries have occurred for well-over 100 years, and recent growth has led to a wider variety of cycle logistics activity across central London. However, there is no wholesale adoption of cargo bikes for last mile deliveries and take up seems to be lower in the UK than other countries (notably the Netherlands and Denmark). This difference can be partly accounted for by the difference in national and city policy, but the much broader provision of cycle lanes and greater acceptance of cycling across the general population would also seem to be critical. Logistics complexities also help to explain the low take up, including the historical decline in the availability of land for logistics facilities in London. It is also necessary to recognise that delivering goods requires a combination of vehicles; HGVs and vans have more capacity and are more robust than cargo bikes, and that helps to lower the costs of deliveries. Post NL in the Netherlands has identified that, while cargo bikes are appropriate and useful for very dense inner city delivery, larger, zero emission vehicles are required to move higher volumes, simply due to cost reasons. A French review of global cities in May 2019 listed three essential elements needed


to enable economic cycle logistics: the provision of nearby spaces to reduce the distance between the starting point and the delivery location; a fairly dense area for deliveries, with small or medium-sized packages if possible; and the ease of movement around public roads and spaces. The Covid-19 pandemic may change what we buy and where those goods come from. There could be a trend to more local sourcing or an acceleration towards more home delivery by vans, especially from supermarkets or restaurants. Some cargo bike operators are working with local groups to provide local assistance and may build a larger customer-base as a result, while others have closed down their operations entirely. History suggests that pricing and product choice may remain the key customer issues in the long term. While we cannot be sure of what will change and how, we know that decarbonisation of our supply chains still needs to occur and London’s air quality must improve rapidly. Last mile innovations As well as recommending a coordination and integration of transport and land use


policies to achieve maximum change, Cross River Partnership is keen to support the roll out of last mile trials in London. One such trial could look at the use of cargo bikes for servicing activity. Cargo bikes can carry approximately half the volume of a van. A high proportion of freight activity in Central London is servicing vehicles, from maintenance engineers to florists replacing hotel displays, and many could be replaced with cargo bikes. Any trial would require engagement with both servicing and facilities management companies to identify suitable trial locations and activity. The involvement of recognised sector leaders would be ideal to generate maximum publicity. Another trial could look at exchange/’kissing points’ for cargo bikes and/or porters. The Freight Traffic Control 2050 project and the Goulborn Street Hub in Sydney demonstrate the potential for the exchange of product, a so-called ’kissing point’. This is sometimes called micro-consolidation by mistake, as it is moving goods from a larger vehicle to a number of smaller ones (or porters) and is effectively ‘un-consolidation’. Any trial would require engagement with operators and property experts to identify suitable trial locations and activity. The involvement of recognised sector leaders would be ideal to generate maximum publicity. A ‘white label’ trial could also be held. The principle of a ‘white label’ trial is for all deliveries into a specific area to be made by one freight operator. The City of London has recently imposed planning conditions requiring consolidation for new, large-scale, developments. This is a version of a ‘white label’ delivery, as the majority of goods will only be delivered to the building by one operator. Extending this approach to a group of premises or street has not yet occurred. Legal advice would be necessary, as challenge from operators would be expected concerning competition implications. Involvement of a land owner or developer would be required, and an extended project planning phase should be anticipated. A green recovery The above initiatives support the ambitions of the post-lockdown recovery to be clean and green not just for personal transport, but also for the delivery and servicing activity that London will continue to depend on. Tom Linton-Smith, project manager at Cross River Partnership, said: “Cross River Partnership has a proud history of supporting low and zero-tailpipe emission freight transport solutions. Cargo bikes are part of the clean transport mix that is required to keep the city moving, building resilience as we deal with the challenges of economic recovery, congestion, air pollution and the climate emergency. In this report we have exposed the challenges and suggested opportunities to work together in new ways to increase their use in London and other cities through knowledge sharing and collaboration.” L FURTHER INFORMATION Read the report here



Road Test Written by Richard Gooding

Toyota Proace City Icon SWB A new entrant into the compact light commercial sector, the Proace City brings a new size of vehicle to Toyota’s acclaimed CV nameplate. Richard Gooding discovers that its ease of use and practical nature should win it many friends What is it? If the Toyota Proace City looks familiar, there’s a good reason. The Japanese manufacturer has collaborated with the PSA Group since 2013 on commercial vehicles and the Proace City is a member of the Citroën Berlingo/Peugeot Partner/Vauxhall Combo compact light van family. The larger Proace (GreenFleet 112) adopts a similar relationship and counts the Citroën Dispatch, Peugeot Expert and Vauxhall Vivaro as siblings. The Proace City made its world debut at the 2019 Commercial Vehicle Show in the UK, with sales beginning in early 2020. How practical is it? The new Toyota Proace City comes in a choice of two lengths: 4,403mm ‘Short’ and 4,753mm ‘Long’. The Short van as tested here has a wheelbase of 2,785mm and a load floor length of 1,817mm, the Long version coming in with 2,975mm and 2,167mm respective measurements. The clever Smart Cargo load-through hatch (a £715 option on entry-level Active models) increases this to 3,090 and 3,440mm respectively and both vans share a 1,200mm maximum load height. Both Short and Long vans can easily accommodate a pair of Europallets. Load volume is 3.3m3 on the Proace City Short, and 3.9m3 on the longer wheelbase model. In both cases, this is increased by 0.5m3 if Smart Cargo is specified. There’s 1,527mm of load width and the twin sliding doors offer 675mm of width and 1,072mm of height. Moving to the back, the rear doors have a maximum aperture width of 1,241mm, 1,196mm of height, and open to 180 degrees.


Only available with one load height, the Proace City can swallow loads up to 1,200mm tall and maximum payloads of between 650-1,000kg depending on engine. How clean is it? The Proace City is available with a choice of 1.5-litre, four-cylinder turbodiesel engines, in either 74 or 99bhp outputs. The smaller output engine can only be specified as a short wheelbase model, and has CO2 emissions of 145g/km. The more powerful unit tested here emits between 148-160g/ km of CO2 and both engines are married to five-speed manual gearboxes. Toyota quotes official WLTP-certified fuel economy figures of 49.56-51.36mpg for the 74bhp engine, and 46.31-50.44mpg for the 99bhp unit. In ‘real-world’ driving conditions, our Icon Short 99bhp test van averaged 48.3mpg.

Inside, as with the Vauxhall Combo Cargo we tested in GreenFleet 126, the cabin also has a distinctly French flavour, but once again, that’s no disadvantage. The flowing dashboard has storage aplenty with up to 16 different repositories dotted around the cabin, from a small coin holder, to dash-top cup holders and a 15-litre space in the centre console. Top-trim Icon vans have an electric parking brake which frees up passenger legroom, too, providing even more space. They also receive an eight-inch colour touchscreen infotainment system as standard, which is very similar to those found in cars, lending the Proace City a car-like usability. The brace of PSA Group and Toyota-developed vans use the same part-car-derived platform. The rear of the chassis is taken from the previous generations of the Berlingo and Partner, with the front using parts from the PSA Group’s ‘EMP2’ car platform. Shared with the Peugeot 308, 3008 and 5008 among others, the handling and ride are more car-like than ever before. Able to zip in and out of traffic easily and safely, the Proace City has good manoeuvrability and is more comfortable than a van may be expected to be. The power steering makes light work of tighter spots, and a rear view camera, and front and rear parking sensors (standard on Icon, optional on entrylevel Active models), are boons to practicality. Staying with practicality, it’s worth noting that

The City Proace world s made it the 2019 t debut a rcial Vehicle e Comm , with sales Show ning in begin 020 early 2

How does it drive? While there’s no denying the external resemblance to its French and British siblings, it does the Proace City no harm, and the chiselled yet softened look suits it well. However, at the time of writing, and unlike its PSA Group siblings, it would appear that neither colour-coded bumpers or alloy wheels can be specified should you want to smarten up the Proace City’s appearance further. Metallic paint can be chosen, though, for £545 extra.


Road Test

Electrifying Toyota Commercials

In addition to alreadyannounced all-electric versions of the Citroën Dispatch, Peugeot Expert and Vauxhall Vivaro vans, the Toyota Proace will also be available in selected markets from October 2020 with a zeroemission powertrain. However, UK availability is still to be confirmed. all Proace City models have three cargo lights and a solid panel-style bulkhead. The 99bhp, 1.5-litre turbodiesel engine of our test van had good tractability, although at times the gearbox needed to be stirred to make quicker progress from low revs. There’s 184lb ft (250Nm) of torque, though, produced from 1,750rpm, which is more than enough for most instances. Engine noise is well suppressed on the move, with wind and road disturbances equally kept to a refined minimum. Testing was conducted with an empty cargo space, trimmed here with plywood, a £389 option. What does it cost? As with the engine choices, Toyota has kept the trim levels simple with the Proace City. The £18,390.83 (OTR, excluding VAT) Active Short kicks things off, and includes 15-inch steel wheels, automatic lights, electric windows, central locking, a four-speaker DAB audio system with Bluetooth and USB connectivity, roof rails, and a stop-start system. A host of safety kit comes as standard, which includes hill assist and stability control systems. A 99bhp Active model is also available. Moving up to Icon brings niceties such as 16-inch steel wheels, auto wipers, cruise control, driver’s seat height adjustment, front fog lights, power-folding door mirrors, steering wheel audio controls, and an eight-inch colour touchscreen infotainment system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity. The 74bhp Icon Short is priced from £20,390.83, with our mid-range 99bhp version pegged at £21,015.83. The only long-wheelbase version, the Icon Long, is £21,640.83 and is powered by the 99bhp engine. Icon specification counts the flexible Smart Cargo load-through system (including a two-seat passenger bench) among its extra practical features. Toyota’s comprehensive Toyota Safety Sense system as seen on its passenger car range can also be added to its Icon models of its smallest light commercial, priced from £675. For taxation purposes, the standard annual commercial VED rate of £265 applies to all Toyota Proace City models.

Why does my fleet need one? As with its PSA Group stablemates, the Toyota Proace City offers slightly more load capacity than a Ford Transit Connect or Volkswagen Caddy, and has enjoyable and easy driving manners. Based on well-proven, awardwinning components, the Proace City has the best of starts. The similarity to its siblings is perhaps hard to ignore, but that translates into well considered practicality and efficiency. A practical and likable performer, the Proace City’s enhanced warranty over its PSA relatives may swing the buying decision in its favour. Toyota offers its generous five-year/100,000mile manufacturer’s warranty as standard on all versions of the Proace City, and added to its 25,000-mile/two-year maintenance schedules, signifies that the small Japanese van really is ready for business. L

A choice of 50kWh or 75kWh batteries enable ranges of up to 142 and 205 miles respectively, and because the battery pack is mounted under the floor, the midsized Proace’s load capacity of 1,000-1,275kg is the same as its diesel-engined siblings. Three-phase 11kW on-board charging is standard, and the Proace EV can also be refilled at fast charging DC stations with 100kW units. The Toyota Proace Electric starts at €35,995 excluding VAT in the Netherlands. Toyota has also stated that an all-electric version of the Proace City will be introduced in 2021.

FURTHER INFORMATION www.toyota.co.uk


1,000kg 3.3m3 1,499cc fourcylinder turbodiesel 151g/km*

MPG: 46.31-50.44* GF MPG:




PRICE (OTR**, ex VAT): £21,015.83 (£22,525.83 as tested) * WLTP combined **OTR price includes number plates and delivery to retailer, 12 months’ Vehicle Excise Duty and new vehicle first registration fee.



Profile for PSI  Media

Commercial GreenFleet July 2020  

Driving the Switch to Cleaner Commercial Fleets

Commercial GreenFleet July 2020  

Driving the Switch to Cleaner Commercial Fleets

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