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Later this week I’m off to drive the new eSprinter at a media event organised by Mercedes-Benz vans. Facelifted Vito will be there for me to take a peek at, too. It looks like the German manufacturer has done a decent job with Sprinter with a massively increased range but, this has come at a cost. Batteries are heavy and to give the eSprinter a usable payload, it looks like the van will only be offered at a GVM of 4.25t, with its restrictions as mentioned elsewhere in this newsletter.

Those of you involved in fleet procurement will no doubt be very aware of the annual Company Car in Action event at Milbrook. But, did you know that this year there’s a Vans in Action section which will be hosted by us? You’ll be able to drive vehicles from Maxus, the Iveco eDaily, some of the refreshed Stellantis range, the Nissan Townstar and more. Also on display will be products from Canoo and Munro Vehicles. The event is from June 12th to the 13th and admission is free. Click here to register for your ticket. 

Speaking of Canoo, late last month I was lucky enough to be invited to drive the striking LDV 130 in anger around the Milbrook test track. I have published a full review on YouTube here, but in the meantime, a few initial impressions. What is clear is that a lot of thought and effort has gone into the drive of the vehicle. It took a little getting used to but once you have dealt with the go-kart like steering it is very good. BUT is it practical? The most important bit of course! It certainly has potential and will meet many needs, although there will need to be a few changes ahead of a UK full launch.

Ford has warned that it may adopt the tactic of restricting the sale of petrol and diesel vans to lower registrations and, hopefully, move buyers into electric vehicles. Ford, with just 1.4% of its van sales being BEV has a huge amount of work to do if there is any hope of achieving 10% by the end of the year. The spokesperson said that the company was ‘not going to pay penalties’. A couple of my thoughts. Is it right that the market isn’t being left to its own devices? I think that, whilst we need to encourage everyone to consider if an EV is right for their role, the market forces of supply and demand shouldn’t be artificially distorted, or tampered with. Secondly, just because they restrict the supply of, say the Transit Custom ICE, will customers automatically buy an electric one instead? I’m not so sure. They might look at used, or even another manufacturer. It’s risky, Ford could potentially shoot itself in the foot here.