Commercial vehicle leasing specialist Hireco is building a strong presence in the LCV sector, particularly with conversions and electric vehicles. Hireco head of new fleet Scott McMinigle and LCV sales’ Poppy Lowe talk to Van User
VanUser: Could you give an idea of the size of your LCV fleet and whether that is increasing in importance for Hireco, having moved into the light market in 2020?
Hireco: Our current LCV fleet size is 450 assets. We have further orders for 235 new vehicles throughout 2022, to include a number of high specification welfare vans converted by Overlander Vehicles.
VU: How are you seeing demand in 2022, given that so many companies are unable to source new vehicles from manufacturers and are you also suffering from supply problems from van builders?
Hireco: Demand appears to have stabilised and is now steady for rental and leasing. Manufacturing issues have caused an increased capital cost on all assets, as a consequence these additional cost are now forcing rental and leasing rates upwards. Our early interaction and ordering with our manufacturing partners has allowed us to maintain supply to our current and potential customers.
VU: Are you seeing increasing demand for electric LCVs and if so for which industry sectors?
Hireco: The E-LCV sector is growing, driven by a need for greener solutions to transport and a move towards a CO2 reduction, in particular for clean air zones across the UK. The growth is predominately through the use in urban environments. Panel vans make up a large part of this growth. Two of the main factors for adoption are mileage range and the availability of a centralised charging operation. We have seen E-LCVs being used in various sectors, but predominately in parcel carrying industries.
VU: You offer a range of specialist conversions, such as utility, chiller, welfare. Is this an increasing part of the business?
Hireco: These specialist conversions are very important to Hireco, allowing us to provide added value services to our customers. Welfare vans in particular are a value-added solution, we have 50-70 vans converted per annum through our group business Overlander Vehicles. We see this as a growing market for the future.
LeasePlan shows off Arrival van
LeasePlan gave visitors to the recent CV Show a chance to see the upcoming Arrival electric van, for which the company will be the preferred operational leasing partner. The partnership is based on an initial order for 3,000 of the e-LCVs, which will be offered to customers over the coming months.
Northgate opts for electric Mercedes
To meet growing demand from customers, Northgate Vehicle Hire will add 350 Mercedes-Benz e-Vito electric vans to its fleet this year. With the first of the new vans arriving in the coming weeks, the e-Vitos form part of Northgate’s wider drive towards fleet electrification. This includes fleet suitability analysis for customers, the provision of charging solutions including infrastructure management and a range of servicing, maintenance and driver training
“After the huge success onboarding electric vans with our customers in 2021, we are continuing to grow our eLCV fleet with the 350 new e-Vito vans,” said Neil McCrossan, Northgate’s sales and marketing director.
“We are proud to be the first mobility solutions provider to offer these state-of-the-art electric vans in the UK. The ongoing analysis of the mileage data produced across our customers’ fleets proves that the range provided by the e-Vito is more than practical for their daily usage. With a good payload and 6m3 of load space, the e-Vito is already proving a popular choice with companies looking to onboard their first EVs to their fleets.”