Every year WhatVan? launches their awards for recognition in the light commercial vehicles industry. As we deal daily with a vast range of makes and models of LCV, we thought it would be fitting to provide a recap on some of the 2018 winners.
It was no surprise that the newly launched Volkswagen Crafter won the 2018 light commercial vehicle of the year award. Stepping away from the partnership with the Mercedes Sprinter in 2013, the next-generation Crafter was built and introduced to the UK market in 2017.
The exterior design of the new Crafter is reminiscent of the sixth-generation Transporter with a front end that rises in a straight line, the family grille and sharp lines defining the bonnet. As a fridge van convertor, we must certainly prefer the front wheel drive feature on the new Crafter, allowing for a much better payload capability and lower loading height for our customers.
Available in three wheelbases and three roof heights, the Crafter’s ride quality and handling is ranking alongside the best in the business, both on the open road and in urban areas, as well as ramping up safety equipment levels which come as standard. We are looking forward to the new Mercedes Sprinter coming this year and highlighting the benefits to our customers.
2017 saw major impacts in the medium LCV market due to the joint venture between the Expert, Dispatch and Proace, all built on the same platform and essentially could be classed as the same product.
The medium LCV market is the most competitive of them all, with some great entries from the likes of Ford Transit and Volkswagen Transporter. However, this joint venture has provided customers with a broad selection of versions that broke new grounds in the market sector.
In terms of refrigerated vehicles, they all boast a decent payload capability for a medium size van, opening the doors to a range of economical options to our customers whose decision is down to the payload and robustness of the vehicle. Our customers also welcomed the newly introduced hands-free sliding door feature, which enables them to open the side loading space with a movement of their foot, great if they are carrying their perishable goods ready to be loaded in the chiller or freezer van.
Ford made a commitment to the Transit Courier van when they stopped production of the car-derived Fiesta Van. On top of this, Peugeot and Citroen decided to phase out their retrospective Bipper and Nemo small vans, opening a growing market for the Courier.
The courier offers a more practical load-carrying proposition that the Fiesta Van, with an increased internal dimensions and payload capabilities. With the introduction of the Courier Sport in 2017, Ford opened doors to LCV operators looking for a small nippy van with character and fun to drive.
The Z.E. Kangoo established Reanult as the pioneer in EVs. Launched in 2011, it has been Europe’s best-selling electric van for six years, with Renault claiming that a quarter of the 120,000 electric vans on European roads bear their badge.
Renault claim a payload of 650Kg on this model and the long-wheel-base Z.E. Maxi version, with maximum load volumes of 3.5m3 and 4.6m3 respectively, which corresponded to diesel equivalents.
In 2017 we have converted a number of Z.E. Kangoo and NV200 and we can see an increase in the interest among our customers, especially those working with the London area. An electric refrigerated vehicle will not be affected by the congestion charges soon to hit London, as well as benefitting from zero road tax an extremely low running costs.
We interact daily with all the of the vehicles mentioned above, creating award-winning refrigerated vehicles for customers across the country. If you would like to speak to us about your refrigerated transport requirements do call us on 0845 459 5418 or enquiry through our contact us page. Make sure to follow us on Twitter and Facebook too for the latest news and product offerings.