Renault to deliver new fleet of Renault Kangoo Maxi Z.E's to Centre Parcs
The new electric vehicles form part of a fleet of 150 vehicles, mainly light commercial vehicles of different makes, based at Center Parcs’ four short break locations – Sherwood Forest, Elveden Forest, Longleat Forest and Whinfell Forest. They are used within the technical services and maintenance division and the “Dining-In” takeaway delivery operation which transports food and beverages to guests.
Center Parcs is also adding seven Honda Insight hybrids to the fleet as it replaces 51 vehicles in the first of three phases between September and November 2012. The other vehicles being replaced are a mix of light commercial diesel models from a variety of different manufacturers.
Center Parcs is replacing its existing electric vehicles, mainly Axiam Mega MultiTrucks plus three Modec box vans, with the more robust Renault models on the advice of its fleet management supplier, CLM, who have been managing the Center Parcs fleet on an outsource arrangement since 2007.
Center Parcs, which is currently working on the development of a fifth holiday village, Woburn Forest in Bedfordshire, began using electric vehicles at its locations more than five years ago as part of an environmentally-friendly fleet policy recommended by CLM to create an emissions-free culture around its holiday villages.
The Center Parcs environmental policy has a minimum ‘green’ standard that no petrol only vehicles are to be used at all, diesel vehicles must meet a minimum of Euro IV specification and electric vehicles are to be introduced wherever they can be practically used.
Following CLM’s advice, Center Parcs is now switching to the Renault Kangoo Z.E. models as they are deemed to be more suitable for purpose and have a six hour recharging cycle which fits perfectly with their downtime while in use.
Chris Allgood, CRM Team Manager at CLM, said: ‘The existing vehicles have not proved hardy or durable enough for the job in question and so we have moved away from the previous vehicles and selected models from a more mainstream manufacturer.
‘We have done this for several reasons, but durability, suitability for purpose and recharging time are all key factors. Also important is that the Kangoos use lithium ion batteries which can be recharged to full capacity in external conditions, while with the lead acid batteries of the previous models, we found they were affected by the cold weather and could not be fully recharged in temperatures which dropped down to minus 10 degrees in winter,’ he added.
The Kangoos have to undergo a conversion process before they are ready for use as the Center Parcs fleet, and are fitted with items such as an eye wash station, fire extinguisher, bespoke racking, storage bins, a ladder roof rack and an external swivel worklamp. Vehicles are also fitted with safety features such as an audible reversing beeper and rear parking sensors.
Center Parcs UK Project Manager – Operations, Mike Henderson, said: ‘We are delighted to be continuing our partnership with CLM and continuing to embrace alternative fuel technology within our organisation.
‘We have always been early adopters of ‘green’ technology and many valuable lessons have been learnt over the past five years which serves to give us more knowledge and confidence that the Renault Kangoo Z.E. and Honda Insight vehicles will help to drive our emissions down even further.
‘CLM has maintained a very close relationship with us over the years and they fully understand the needs of our business; they have the knowledge and experience to work with us to deliver an efficient fleet that is fit-for-purpose.
‘Our first phase of replacements is an exciting time for us as we introduce the latest technology in electric vehicles and we look forward to working with CLM as we formulate our fleet strategy for the future which will include our fifth and latest village, Woburn Forest in Bedfordshire,’ he added.
CLM head of Sales and Marketing, Rob Wentworth James, added: ‘We have worked with a number of clients over the years to provide innovative solutions to reduce their overall fleet carbon footprint.
‘In the case of Center Parcs, this has involved researching, testing and trialling a number of electric vans for use within their holiday village environment, which have proved to be extremely successful over time. We are confident that the new vehicles will continue do an excellent job,’ he added.