Hans-Jörg Mehl, V-P and CFO of Mercedes-Benz Canada, Michael Weidemann, executive V-P of ENERCON Canada and Volker Kendziorra, global head of service of ENERCON, gathered at the Niagara Region Wind Farm in Smithville, Ont., on June 24 to officially celebrate the beginning of a Canadian partnership that saw 20 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 4x4s added to the fleet of service vehicles that support ENERCON’s wind farms across the country.
The automaker says this is the culmination of a project that started in 2014 with a single 4×4 prototype based on a standard rear-wheel drive Sprinter built to Canadian specifications in Düsseldorf, Germany.
ENERCON tested the prototype over the course of a six-month period, travelling from Nova Scotia through Quebec to Ontario for a total of 7,984 km in order to establish the best technical specifications for Canada
The prototype was outfitted with equipment that monitored its engine module. Real-time results were transmitted by GPS back to Mercedes-Benz global headquarters in Stuttgart, where they were used to verify and tweak the engine programming for the production Sprinters.
“For many years, ENERCON has used Mercedes-Benz vans to serve our company’s wind turbines around the world. We found that the Canadian climate and topography demanded certain requirements and are pleased to say that the Sprinter 4×4 has met all of them,” said Kendziorra.
He went on to say the Sprinter 4×4 was a natural choice for ENERCON, which needed a fuel-efficient vehicle with the payload capacity to hold a wide range of equipment.
Further, it was well positioned to meet the needs of the company, whose wind farms are often located away from main roads and well off the beaten track.
The Sprinter 4×4 features a low range gear that allows it to navigate steep grades, negotiate challenging off-road terrain, and even tow and manoeuvre heavy trailers.
Until now, the company’s Canadian division relied primarily on retrofitted pickup trucks to work in the field.
“ENERCON and Mercedes-Benz are two major German players, known worldwide for their high-quality standards. We are delighted to be expanding our existing partnership into the Canadian market, and are delighted to be working with Mercedes-Benz Canada. We see today’s announcement as a great first step towards a long term relationship in this part of the world,” said Michael Weidemann.
“The Mercedes-Benz Sprinter was the pioneer of the modern van movement, and today this model continues to trail blaze as the only 4×4 commercial van in Canada,” added Hans-Jörg Mehl.
“Our agreement with ENERCON underscores the increasing importance of fuel efficiency to global corporations, an area in which the Sprinter leads the pack. This advantage, coupled with its best-in-class payload and cargo volume – not to mention its remarkable interior height of over 2.2 metres – make for an unbeatable combination.”
Established in Germany over 30 years ago, ENERCON is an international leader in wind turbine design and sales.
Known worldwide for its gearless generator technologies, high manufacturing standards, and comprehensive long-term service agreements.
To date, ENERCON has installed more than 25,600 turbines worldwide, ranging from 500 kW to 7.5 MW, representing more than 41.2 GW of installed capacity.
A major player in the Canadian market since its entry in 2001, ENERCON Canada Inc. has over 600 employees with offices located in Montreal, Toronto and Dartmouth, service stations coast-to-coast, manufacturing sites in Matane, Que., and Beamsville, Ont., and a dedicated training and warehouse facility in Boucherville, Que.,
ENERCON has over 2,000 MW installed throughout seven Canadian provinces and territories.