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HPM September 2017

28 B U S I N E S S VA N S Petrol versus diesel? The debate continues Covering low mileage with light loads? A petrol-fuelled van might better suit requirements than a diesel. HPM’s Alex Willis has all the details in his round-up of this month’s van news Having already introduced petrol engine options to the Caddy range shortly after the van was launched in 2015, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles has now added petrol engine options to its Transporter range. Customers can choose between two 2.0-litre (1984 cc) TSI units that develop 150 and 204PS. The former comes with a six-speed manual transmission and front-wheel drive only, while the latter is equipped with a seven-speed DSG gearbox as standard and available for front or four-wheel drive. Volkswagen is ready to offer support and advice to buyers and operators, guiding them through the key considerations they need to take into account when deciding which fuel type to buy. These will include purchase price, fuel economy, load carrying and towing requirements, residual values, VED and other local taxes or congestion charges. Take, for example, the Transporter Highline T28 panel van with a 2.0 TSI 150PS engine which is £1,000 cheaper to buy outright than its diesel-powered equivalent. Using official fuel economy figures and average RAC Fuel Watch prices, it would take just over 18,000 miles to make back the up-front cost of the diesel in fuel savings. Extra factors, such as insurance (which is often cheaper for petrol models) could extend that distance still further. This makes the petrol-powered Transporter the perfect option for drivers and operators who cover low annual mileages and enjoy the agile performance offered by petrol engines. While many buyers will still be better off by opting for diesel power – especially if they cover high mileages and regularly carry heavy loads – the introduction of the petrol options mean that a sizeable percentage of buyers can choose a vehicle that better suits their requirements. Maximum torque or pulling power for the petrol models, an important consideration if you’re carrying heavy loads, is 280Nm from 1,500 to 3,750 rpm for the 150PS version, and 350Nm from 1,500 to 4,000 rpm for the 204PS. Reality check If you’re looking to buy a new or used van then low fuel costs will rank highly in your list of priorities. That’s why Honest John has crunched the real mpg numbers to find the UK’s top ten vans for real world fuel economy. Unlike official fuel consumption figures, real mpg uses real life comparative data to show van owners and buyers how much on-the-road fuel a commercial vehicle really burns. Topping Honest John's list is the Peugeot Partner, with drivers achieving almost three per cent more than advertised, with an average of 48.5mpg. Go to https://vans.honestjohn.co.uk for all the results. My Van Service Mercedes-Benz Vans has launched My Van Service, an online service booking tool. It has five new options to allow customers to book their vehicles in for a service or repair at a time that suits the operational needs of their businesses. Customers can see a choice of slots available to book a service, MOT, diagnostics work or repair with the dealer of their choice using a live booking facility and benefit from access to the latest servicing offers. In addition, SMS booking and confirmations are possible, and payment online can be made via PayPal or Sage Pay. Rightsizing wrongs Plumbing businesses running light commercial vehicles are potentially missing significant opportunities when it comes to ‘rightsizing’. Research indicates that the majority are adopting a ‘same again’ policy to van selection, almost irrespective of their operational needs, and foregoing the potential whole life cost savings in areas such as fuel and tyres, that 'rightsizing' can deliver. Rightsizing is a strategy designed to match the payload needs to the specification of a specific model of van as closely as possible, delivering benefits in a wide range of areas from fuel efficiency to reduced environmental impact. Kangoo in the fast lane Renault has launched a new version of its Kangoo ZE electric van which offers an official range of 168 miles, which the manufacturer says is equivalent to 125 miles real use in summer. The extended range has been covering low mileage with light loads achieved by a new battery mated to a new motor and the incorporation of a heat pump. Renault says the new Kangoo ZE is also faster to charge than its predecessor, taking as little as six hours. Litter bugs More than 13 million drivers are littering on Britain’s roads, risking fines and putting other drivers at risk. And research revealed that 41% of men polled confessed to dumping their rubbish, compared to 29% of women. New measures due to be announced by the government earlier this year would have given local councils the power to fine vehicle owners if litter is thrown from it. Ford sets world record Have you an old van tucked away in your garage, gathering dust? If so, it may be worth digging it out as earlier this year, Manheim Auctions sold a very special 1988 Ford Transit Mark 3 for what is understood to be a world record price for that model – a snip at £10,300. The Transit (below) was converted by a specialist company to operate as a covert surveillance vehicle. www.hpmmag.com September 2017 Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles has now added petrol engine options to its Transporter range “More than 13 million drivers are littering on Britain’s roads, risking fines and putting other drivers at risk”


HPM September 2017
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