BARLOWS, a UK business in the forefront of electrification, has picked the Toyota Corolla Commercial – the country’s first hybrid electric van – for its vehicle fleet.

The electrical contractors, a family business established for more than 70 years, has signed up for 22 vehicles, to be used by its workforce.

Barlows provides a complete range of electrical and maintenance services across the country, including the installation of domestic and commercial chargers for electric vehicles. Originally established in Malpas, Cheshire, the business has expanded nationwide, with regional offices in Manchester, Lancaster and High Wycombe.

Choosing the right model for the new van fleet was an easy choice for Adam Hailes, who was an established Corolla fan when he joined the company last year. Within a month he had ordered 10 of the British-built vans and has since purchased a further 12.

Hailes said: “I’d driven Corollas in my previous job and knew and liked their qualities. Barlows were in the market for some car-derived vans and we wanted to try the Commercial version. They are great in terms of fuel economy, drive incredibly well and look unbelievably professional. They’re also big enough for our engineers’ and contract managers’ equipment – including their stepladders.

“Options and accessories-wise, they’ve all been fitted with tinted windows. Eight have roof racks required for longer ladders and all of them are fitted with a 70mph speed limiter. The safety of our drivers and other people on the road is a priority for us.

“I also really value the MyToyota app,” he added. “It’s become a big part of my Corolla Commercial fleet management. It lets me track the vans and gives me accurate, live service and maintenance updates.”

John Barlow, Managing Director, said: “Our turnover has increased from £30M to £40M in the last year, so we constantly need more staff and more vans. With the global chip shortage still affecting supply, we’re likely to keep our vehicles for a couple of years longer than we usually would. This means warranties, reliability and residual values on higher mileage vehicles are more important than ever. Toyota is a superior brand and should meet these priorities well. We are also reducing our overall mileage by employing more engineers and operating across smaller geographical areas.”

Corolla Commercial is manufactured at Toyota’s vehicle plant at Burnaston near Derby.  It was updated at the beginning of this year, benefiting from more powerful and more efficient fifth generation Toyota hybrid electric technology and a full complement of Toyota Safety Sense active safety and driver assistance systems.


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