Electric - that’s the buzz word. Fleet Voice Column

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Fleet Voice Column. Wednesday 24 March 2010

Electric, that’s the view from the football pundits across the UK, they are of course talking about one of the closest English Premier League title fights in the history of the Premiership.

Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester United could all still win the title and with less than two months to go, it looks like it is going to be a gripping finale.

I am sure all of you reading this have your favourite.

If the pundits are correct and the race is as electric as they believe it will be, then it will whet the appetite for a feast of football in the summer with the World Cup.

Talking about electricity and getting charged up…Nissan has confirmed that it will produce its electric car the LEAF at Sunderland by 2013. This is great news for the North East of England as this decision safeguards a host of jobs (somewhere in the region of 4,100 should be retained).

Nissan LEAF Lord Mandelson

Nissan has confirmed with this news that it is committed to zero emission leadership and it believes the LEAF will be the world’s first affordable, mass produced zero emission car.

The LEAF will be a five-seater hatchback and will be powered by an 80kW (107bhp) electric motor, which is twinned with rapid charging lithium-ion batteries. The Japanese maker claims this will give the Leaf a top speed of over 90mph and a range of 100 miles.

Another maker that is looking to take a charge on the electric front is GM. The company has confirmed that a decision will be made on the Ampera plug-in hybrid and whether or not it will be built at Vauxhall's Ellesmere Port plant.

Vauxhall Ampera 2010 image 1

However, GM states that this decision will not be made for a further 12 months as much will depend on what incentives the British government offers buyers of ‘greener' vehicles.

With all this talk of electric vehicles in the automotive industry the budget (today) may well come up with some solutions for those of you who are looking at turning your fleet into an electric powered one.

The good news for those of you who are thinking along those lines is that CAP, one of the guides has announced the qualification criteria electric vehicles must meet to enable future residual value forecasts to be set.

This is a welcome break, as it will enable you to see how much risk there will be when purchasing electric models.

CAP claims in order to qualify for the residual value forecast process an electric vehicle must;

  1. Have European Type Approval
  2. The battery must be owned as part of the car, not leased separately

On a further note, CAP states that it could not set residuals around the possibility of car and battery being treated as separate entities, such as under dual ownership arrangements with the car owned but the battery leased. In such cases CAP believes it would be impossible to attribute any residual value to a vehicle, which could in theory lack the means to operate.

Work is ongoing to identify the full range of criteria which will impact on the residual value forecast itself. These include;

  • Vehicle range
  • Charging method
  • Maximum speed
  • Electrical ampage
  • Warranty arrangements

No doubt, Glass’s Guide will also come up with a formula for setting residuals for electric vehicles, this is a very important announcement from CAP and should come as a valuable tool if you the fleet manager are looking into purchasing a range of electric vehicles.

‘Electric’ seems to be the buzz-word whether you are talking about football or automobiles at the present time. The English Premier League title race may be coming to its finale, but the electric revolution in the automotive industry is just beginning.

Remember keep an eye on the budget (today) as ‘electric’ could just get a mention!


Categories: Nissan , Vauxhall , Fleet Voice

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