Commercial vehicles is a relatively fast-moving industry, with manufacturers constantly looking for new ways to provide value to tradespeople and fleet managers alike. Though competition amongst them is fierce, there’s no denying that it fosters some fantastic innovations for customers to enjoy. Many of these innovations have been showcased already in 2019 in various awards ceremonies, so this week on the blog here at CoolKit we’re taking a second to give you a quick recap on these events, and the outstanding vehicles they’ve highlighted.
The Business Van Awards have been held annually since 2013 by businessvans.co.uk, an online hub for van owners and tradespeople, containing all the latest van news, reviews, tax and operating advice. They’re one of the UK’s most prestigious sets of awards for commercial vehicles, and this year featured some truly impressive entrants.
Volkswagen – Best Manufacturer Conversion Programme (and others)
Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles cleared up this year, taking home a staggering total of five accolades. Its Transporter panel van and innovative Kombi model garnered their fair share of recognition, and it also won the awards for Best Used Van Programme and Best Van Funding. It were also cited for having the Best Manufacturer Conversion Programme – which we’re proud to be a part of here at CoolKit, since we hold the status of Integrated Partner within this award-winning conversion programme.
Mercedes – Best Heavy Van
Longtime drivers and fleet managers may not be surprised to hear that the Mercedes Sprinter 314 Panel Van was one of those acknowledged at the event, winning the Best Heavy Van Award, as judged by a panel of experts. It was described as being comfortable and easy to drive thanks to its four-wheel drive, and its payload of 3150kg made it a useful vehicle for shifting considerable loads. Its extra features include Bluetooth connectivity, adaptive cruise control, and voice-operated infotainment, making it easier and more pleasant for drivers to pass the time on extended journeys.
Citroën – Best Green Van
The Citroën Berlingo Electric L1 635 LX might not have the snappiest of names, but that hasn’t stopped it from impressing the judges at the Business Van Awards. As we’ve covered before on the blog, electric vehicles are becoming steadily more popular in the UK, and the Berlingo is a great example of why. A hardy and reliable van, it carries a respectable payload of 636kg for its size, and a decent load volume of 3.3m3.
A newly-established set of awards, these are awarded by Company Van Today, a quarterly publication which is specifically targeted at senior decision makers in the UK’s Light Commercial Vehicle sector, including operations directors and fleet managers. Its panel takes into account the running costs, efficiency, extra features and overall quality of each van during each of their decisions, so that they’re able to guarantee the winner provides excellent value and utility for businesses.
Mercedes – Large Van of the Year
The Mercedes Sprinter continues to be a favourite of the British LCV industry, and the company’s latest iteration has reaffirmed this position. With a high payload and a respectable efficiency, the Sprinter excels in a number of roles.
“The Mercedes-Benz Sprinter has long been the king of the large van segment, and the new model has only accelerated that position thanks to new levels technology and quality,” said Tom Webster, Editor of Company Van Today. “The Sprinter sets a high standard, is a desirable and capable vehicle available with a variety of options that will suit any customer use and has a reputation for durability that is the envy of the industry.”
Citroën – Van of the Year and Light Van of the Year
Another popular choice for customers in the market for durable, reliable fridge vans and freezer vans, the Citroën Berlingo has now got several more admirable feathers to its cap, and now holds the enviable status of 2019’s Van of the Year and Light Van of the Year. The judges particularly highlighted its Overload Indicator technology, a universally helpful system which went on to win the magazine’s first Technology award.
Mr Webster said: “Citroen has really hit the spot with the new Berlingo Van, a van that is clever, good to drive, efficient and stylish. Class-leading tech including the pioneering Overload Indicator makes for a van at the very top of its game and a worthy CVT Van of the Year 2019 winner.”
Renault – Green Award
Renault have struck gold again with their market-leading Z.E. range, which has gained itself a widely well-regarded reputation across the entire industry. Here at CoolKit, we’ve covered their vehicles in plenty of detail ourselves, including the green credentials of its Renault Kangoo Z.E.
“Renault’s pioneering position with electric light commercial vehicles has been enhanced in the past few months with the arrival of the Master van, which sees the brand again break new ground for fleets looking to cut their fleet emissions.” said Mr Webster. “No other manufacturer can match the breadth and ability of Renault’s Z.E. powertrains, and the vehicles offer a genuine zero emission alternative for an increasingly wide user base, which is why the brand is a worthy winner of the Green Award for 2019.”
Here at CoolKit, we’re proud to maintain an extensive inventory of fridge and freezer vehicles, encompassing many iterations of the award-winning vehicles covered above. You can browse our range of new fridge vans here, or if you need any additional help or advice feel free to ring our sales hotline, where one of our team will be only too happy to answer any questions or provide any advice you may need.