The days of the old Econoline service van are now in the rear-view mirror: By adding 22 shiny new Citroen Berlingo Enterprise vans to it fleet, AFI-Uplift, one of the UK’s leading commercial vehicle suppliers, aims to improve fuel efficiency and reduce its carbon footprint. The company plans to swap out the remainder of its fleet – 30+ vans – for the more streamlined Berlingos by the second quarter of 2011, reports

Complete with air conditioning, rear parking sensors, Bluetooth, USB connectivity and optional cruise control, Citroen’s Berlingos break the mold – much like Navistar’s eStar and Nissan’s NV – in a vehicle sector that hasn’t seen much innovation in decades. AFI-Uplift had new models further enhanced with ply lining, alarms, full steel bulkheads and roof mounted light bars.

Sophisticated telemetry systems installed in each van ensure that the vehicles are driven within speed limits and in an economic manner, according to AFI. All models also come equipped with a Trafficmaster satellite navigation system that provides live updates and Trackstar stolen vehicle tracking.

Starting at £12,695, or $20,400, the Berlingo Enterprise vans are expected to have a three year/100,000 mile service life and are based throughout AFI’s 18-strong UK depot network. The company is one of the first powered access firms in the UK to receive both the ISO 14001 environmental management standard and the OHSAS 18001 occupational health and safety standard.

ABOUT Sara Suddes

San Francisco-based contributor Sara Suddes writes frequently about small business, the economy and technology.