Participants in the Electric Vehicle Rally of Scotland came home to Mercedes-Benz Vans Dealer Western Commercial after completing a five-day, 1,200-mile tour of the country using only battery power.
Staged to showcase the viability of electric mobility, the event saw 22 vehicles, consisting of a range of electric cars and vans, traverse the length and breadth of Scotland before finishing at Western Commercial’s Glasgow branch, on Broomloan Road, Govan.
Among the vehicles that went the full distance was one of the Dealer’s own, zero-emission Mercedes-Benz eVito Tourers, fitted with three rows of seats and capable of carrying a driver and up to eight passengers. Powered by a 100kWh battery that can be restored to 80% of full capacity in as little as 40 minutes, this model will cover 217-221 miles (combined WLTP) between charges.
“The eVito Tourer is a fantastic vehicle,” declared rally organiser Colin Boyton. “With its range and ability to carry the five people who used it, together with all their luggage, in safety, comfort and style, it was perfect for this journey.
“Along with the other vehicles that completed our gruelling event, Western Commercial’s Mercedes-Benz proved without any shadow of a doubt that electric vehicles are a reliable, practical option for daily work and family life. No longer is this the technology of the future, it’s for the here and now.”
Beginning and ending in Glasgow – which also played host this month (November) to the COP26 international climate conference – the rally took competitors south to Gretna Green. The route then looped north past Ben Nevis, onto the Isle of Skye and through the Highlands to John O’Groats, before returning via Inverness, Aberdeen and Dundee to the finish line.
“It was a tough proposition, and we covered no fewer than 320 miles on the longest day,” recalled Colin. “That was very much a conscious choice, though. We wanted to show that EVs are fully equipped to handle a hard life.
“We were also keen to demonstrate the effectiveness of the publicly available charging network across Scotland. With 22 participating vehicles, plus others in support, there was no way they could all be recharged overnight at any one hotel stop. We decided, therefore, to proceed without overnight charging and compel crews to top up at public charge points.
“The fact that everyone was able to do this and complete the event with very little problem is testament to the great work the Scottish Government has done in rolling out a charging network.”
Those taking part were thanked for their efforts to highlight the availability of this network by Graeme Dey, Minister for Transport, when he greeted the rally as it passed through Dundee.
They reached the finish line to find the mobile hospitality unit that had featured across the five days, laid on at Western Commercial and flanked by a pair of Mercedes-Benz eSprinters, as well as a fully electric 7.5-tonne FUSO eCanter truck – like Mercedes-Benz Trucks, FUSO is part of the Daimler Truck family. Those involved were treated to refreshments and a very welcome glass of Champagne to celebrate their success.
Like all Mercedes-Benz Vans Dealers, Western Commercial offers fully-electric eSprinter and eVito panel vans, and eVito Tourers with flexible seating layouts for up to eight passengers. All offer potentially significant reductions in running costs, as well as renowned Mercedes-Benz build quality, reliability, performance and safety, as standard.
Western Commercial’s Van Sales Director Simon Murray declared: We are delighted to have been involved with the Rally. The eVito Tourer was certainly put through its paces and rose to the challenge.
“As a business, we are making it our mission to guide customers, new and old, through the electric journey with a strong consultative approach. The Rally served as a testament to Scotland’s readiness for the electric shift and we want to make sure our customers feel fully ready too. From first extended demonstration to final EV purchase, the Western Commercial team are here to support every step of the way.”