A Bolton-based vehicle manufacturing specialist has secured a multi-million-pound deal with Lombard, the asset finance division of NatWest Group, enabling the business to support its mission of increasing the number of electric vehicles on roads.
The £2m deal will allow WN VTech to fund a fleet of its innovative Mellor Sigma electric demonstration buses, meaning prospective customers will have the opportunity to trial the new electric model and experience the benefits of a more sustainable transport option before choosing to purchase.
The zero-emission, battery-electric bus range, which comprises six distinct models between seven- and 12-metres in length, has already proven to be a success, with public transport operators impressed with its flexible, configurable design.
Its lightweight construction and efficient battery-electric powertrain, combined with a three-year bumper-to-bumper warranty, five-year battery warranty and 15-year structural warranty, provides operators with a package that delivers a low total cost of ownership.
Since launching earlier this year, more than 100 orders of the Mellor Sigma have been made by local transport authorities and bus operators from across the country. While Nobina, the leading public transport operator for Sweden and the Nordic region, is among the first operators to take delivery of Sigma vehicles. The Sigma 7s will be used in and around the Swedish city of Gothenburg.
WN VTech Ltd, formerly known as Woodall Nicholson, is Europe’s leading specialist vehicle manufacturer, comprising of six specialist brands; Mellor, Coleman Milne, BINZ International, Treka Bus, VCS Ltd and Promech Technologies. The business works with key partners in the transport industry, using innovative engineering processes to make vehicles that have a positive impact on the environment.
WN VTech’s expertise lies in EV and alternative fuels, with a focus on electrification and the creation of lightweight, fuel-efficient and low-cost vehicles. This includes converting specialist sector vehicles such as ambulances, police cars and funeral hearses, helping businesses across a range of industries to work towards their climate goals by switching to electric transport.
The zero-emission, battery-electric Mellor Sigma bus range has already proven to be a success, with public transport operators impressed with its flexible, configurable design
Working with NatWest and Lombard, the business has been able to accelerate its growth ambitions and invest heavily to enhance their product portfolio and specifically their electrification capabilities.
As a business that puts sustainability at the heart of what they do, WN VTech has also worked with NatWest to identify actions that enable them to reduce their carbon footprint and increase energy efficiency.
The business was one of the first to trial NatWest’s Carbon Planner online tool, which supports businesses to tackle cost of living pressures while aiming to help them to reduce their impact on the environment. It was launched this year to form part of the bank’s £100bn Climate and Sustainable Funding and Finance lending commitment
In addition to the steps WN VTech had already taken to decarbonise its own carbon footprint, which has included investing in LED lighting and adopting an all-electric company car scheme, the business has been able to utilise the recommendations from the Carbon Planner tool to help further their sustainability goals.
Jon Sharrock, Group Financial Director at WN VTech, said: “We’re passionate about getting more electric vehicles on our roads and the funding will allow us to introduce more businesses to the benefits of adopting sustainable transport options.
“Making the switch to electric vehicles not only reduces carbon emissions but provides long term cost saving measures for businesses. We’re extremely grateful to Lombard for supporting our vision of accelerating cleaner transport.”
Laura Capper, Head of Manufacturing at NatWest Group, said: “Helping our customers transition to becoming more sustainable is one of our central purposes and working with WN VTech, which has a similar mission, has been a great experience.
“It’s good news that the deal means there will be more electric buses across Europe and that our Carbon Planner is helping WN VTech get to where it wants to be on sustainability.”
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