Supplied by Dealer Sparshatts of Kent, all are BlueEFFICIENCY models designed for maximum fuel economy.
Most – 31 Vito 113 CDI Extra-longs and 28 Citan 109 CDI Longs – have been assigned to a contract with Croydon Council, while a further 15 Vito models are working for Kingston Council, another recent addition to the Axis client portfolio.
The remaining 10 Citans and a single Medium-length Sprinter 313 CDI with caged tipping body by TGS, of Bristol, replace vehicles that have been operating on other contracts.
Commenting on the fleet expansion, Axis’ fleet manager, Jacky Nicholson, said: ‘Fitness for purpose, reliability, driver comfort and safety were all factors in our decision to invest so heavily in Mercedes-Benz vehicles.
‘Equally important, though, were the low emission credentials of the Vito and Citan as specified with BlueEFFICIENCY packages. Axis is a values-led company with sustainability and social responsibility at the heart of our business ethos, so the environmental compatibility of these vehicles was also crucial to their appeal.’
BlueEFFICIENCY items are designed to reduce fuel consumption and thereby minimise the vehicle’s carbon footprint. This includes the ECO start/stop function, low rolling resistance tyres and optimised alternator and battery management systems.
As a result, Mercedes claims the 90hp 109 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY version of the Citan boasts an economy figure of up to 65.7 mpg and CO2 emissions as low as 112 g/km. The 136 hp Vito 113 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY, meanwhile, returns up to 40.9 mpg and produces emissions of 182 g/km.
Axis has headquarters in Vauxhall, South London, and serves the retail and commercial property sectors as well as housing providers, and relies on a fleet of nearly 400 vehicles to support operations throughout London, Kent, East Anglia and the Midlands.
Axis assumed responsibility on 1 April 2014 for responsive repairs, maintenance, void reinstatements and gas servicing to more than 16,000 properties owned by Croydon Council. The seven-year agreement includes communal areas, door entry systems, street lighting and solar panel maintenances, as well as management of the council’s repairs contact centre, which is open to residents 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Sparshatts of Kent supplied its first Mercedes-Benz Van – a Sprinter dropsider – to Axis in December 2012; a second entered service shortly afterwards, followed by 18 Vito Extra Longs in 2013.
Adds Jacky Nicholson: 'We’ve developed an excellent relationship with Sparshatts over the last 18 months or so, and the dealer pulled out all the stops to deliver all but 10 of our 85 vans on the 31 March, ready to go to work the following day.'