Electric vehicles2012THE OF THE ELECTRIC VEHICLEA FleetNews In association 10 Month here 2011 fleetnews.co.uk fleetnews.co.uk Month here 2011 11Estimates suggest there could be up to 1,600 publicly available charging points in the UKThe availability of public charging provision for electric vehicles (EVs) will be one of the crucial factors in encouraging uptake among motorists. There are several private companies offering commercial and residential charging posts, and working within the Government's Plugged-in Places scheme to provide such an infrastructure. Estimates of how many publicly-available charging posts are currently in the UK vary. Simon Daukes, CEO of Chargemaster, says there are possibly 1,000 posts out there from all suppliers. Other commentators suggest 1,600.Justin Meyer, business development manager at APT Technologies is less optimistic. "We think there is a lot of exaggeration in the market. I would estimate between 600 and 800 charging posts are currently available." To offer comparison, there are perhaps 2,000 vehicles - a mix of private cars and perhaps 700 commercial vehicles - which would use such facilities.However, all these companies are planning substantial numbers of installations in the next 18 months. Meyer is aiming for 1,500 to 2,000; Chargemaster is rolling out 4,000; Siemens is targeting the fleet sector as the emerging EV adopters.The first generation posts were built to correspond with standard 13 amp domestic wiring, but the most recent industry standard is Mode 3, type 2 posts which can provide either 16 or 32 amps. Depots too can expect to pay between £500 and £1,000, particularly if committed by policy to using specific contractors. A DC charging post - which can recharge a vehicle from 0% to 100% in around 30 minutes - costs between £20,000 and £30,000. Some DC charging posts are appearing around the country and, although there is a debate as to whether such rapid charging will degrade batteries in the long term, most commentators think that the facility and flexibility it will provide motorists and fleets with will nonetheless make it an essential part of the purchaser's wish-list.BillingThe big unknown with EV charging is actually how users will choose to pay. The market has been distorted somewhat by the Government's fund-matching scheme behind Plugged-in Places, which posited that public funds would be available but the energy for charging then had to be given freely to motorists for a specific period of time. Clearly free charging cannot last. However, a fragmented picture is emerging of how companies intend to track and bill motorists.On one hand there is the subscription model. Chargemaster is developing its Polar scheme which will see home charging facilities alongside 4,000 posts in public places. It will install a home charge point, and give the user access to its public sites Public charging points will be key to EV uptake. Louise Cole reportsCHARGING AHEADThe big unknown with EV charging is how users will choose to payMode 3 offers a greater ability to transmit current, giving faster charging; it runs a brief diagnostic on the car wiring for safety; and it can match the supply of electricity to what the vehicle wants to pull down. Over time all of the original 13 amp posts will need to be upgraded, although most suppliers say this is not a problem. The market is moving toward faster charging - hence the upgrade to 16 or 32 amps. These are all AC facilities and Mode 3 seeks to find the sweet spot between what the installation can offer and what the car requires, thereby accommodating legacy vehicles.The plugs for EVs have found a de facto standard in the German-devised 612196-2 'Mennekes' plug. Only France and Spain have devised their own plug standards. Although not an enshrined standard, plugs are unlikely to cause compatibility issues for motorists.Plugged-in PlacesThe Government's Plugged-in Places scheme initially envisioned a network of charging places on streets as well as public centres, such as shopping malls and public car parks. The scheme is gathering pace, although the goals have been revised with the realisation that most people will charge at home, off-road, or at work.On-street parking is scarce in urban areas - two-thirds of Londoners do not have off-street parking - posts and cables could cause potential health and safety risks, and installation in the public space is prohibitively expensive. Calvey Taylor-Haw, MD of Elektromotive, which claims 800 charging points already in the public arena, says: "It's very expensive to dig a hole in the street. It would cost us about £5,000 to complete an on-street installation." The major costs are planning permissions and establishing a connection from the grid to the roadside.Home and work installationsThese costs are, of course, mitigated on private land. Charging points, either post or wall-mounted, can be installed outside the home for anything between £500 and £1,000, although Siemens director of electromobility Philip Skipper says this is "surprisingly expensive" and predicts that the market rate must drop substantially.where their RFID-enabled account can be charged 95p each time they charge; the subscription fee is £24.50 a month. Other suppliers are less enamoured of the subscription approach, arguing that users will want EV charging to be like petrol stations: pull into any forecourt you like and pay as you go. "We think it has to be an open source system," says Taylor Haw at Elektromotive, who predicts the company will go to an easy pay-to-use scheme. He points out that the subject is complicated by the rules governing the sale of electricity, which requires licences to resell energy at a profit. Hence a car park could currently charge for the parking space but not for the electricity drawn down while parked.APT Technologies will be offering parking in conjunction with charging through sister company APT Skidata. Skidata manages numerous public car parks such as at Heathrow. The plan is that motorists would get a barcoded ticket on entry and can use that barcode to both activate the EV charger and pay for their stay and their electricity at the end. Home or work?The dynamics of home charging for business users - and where in fact people will choose to charge - is still largely unexplored territory. The industry has come to agreement on the fact that most charging will take place either on a private driveway or garage, or at work. Only opportunistic charging will occur while out and about. An employee reclaiming the expense of charging is not currently seen as claiming a benefit in kind. However, collecting the data necessary to reimburse employees could be complex as their home tariffs will differ, as will their places for charging. Philip Skipper, director of electromobility at Siemens, says the solution is a dedicated meter which will collect charging data for the employer. There are many alternatives to the traditional combustion engine, including petrol hybrids like the Toyota Prius; pure EVs like the Mitsubishi I-Miev; those trying to make a comeback, such as LPG; the relatively untested (biofuels); and other variants on familiar themes, such as Peugeot and Citroën's diesel hybrids.Combined, they offer fleets many options when considering less environmentally damaging vehicles for their fleets. Yet they are all competing against ever-more efficient diesel engines. The Fleet News EV Supplement, sponsored by Energy Saving Trust and distributed with the December 8 issue of Fleet News, takes a look at what's available on the current market, how the technology works and the cost comparisons for fleets to consider.
NewsinsightFuelpricesSales figuresRemarketing analysisManufacturer RecruitmentnewsCar reviewsNews digest2012THE YEAR THE ELECTRIC VEHICLEFleetNews publicationassociation with30 Month here 2011 fleetnews.co.uk fleetnews.co.uk Month here 2011 31an fleets have been courted by EV producers for many years, but what are the potential problems that need to be resolved before taking on electric commercial vehicles?We're told that being 'green' helps save money, and that is certainly true when it comes to conventional diesel and petrol engines. Lower CO2 emissions are a result of less fuel being burned by the engine.But for the ultra-low energy cost, the picture is far more complex.Damian James, head of transport provision at Bracknell Forest Council and a director of ACFO, has investigated fleet applications for a wide range of cutting-edge technology including electric vans.Operating a low-mileage, depot-based fleet, the local authority would, at face value, appear to be the 'perfect' electric van operator.However, James says: "Electric vans are simply not viable for the council's fleet. The financial argument just does not stack up when comparing total cost of ownership with diesel vehicles and the technology is too much of a gamble. We cannot afford to experiment. I want to see fleet data over perhaps a five-year period that tells me EVs are reliable and make both economic and environmental sense."Birmingham University transport John Charles looks at pters, what's toxxxme. xpxppxpxpppxxp pxpxVAN FLEETS PLAY THE THE WAITING GAMEAdditionally, Cane reports no issue with battery degradation - a concern among some van operators. He says: "From a performance viewpoint the electric vans on our fleet have ticked all the right boxes."George Alexander, chief editor commercial vehicles at Glass's, says: "Despite all the pessimistic comments there is enthusiasm for electric vans and Renault has put together a very creditable package. The sums just about add up versus a diesel van for the right customer."Any self-respecting transport manager would by now have looked at the technology to see if it is viable within their fleet profile. In the right operation the Renault package has many bases covered."However, with operating costs and residual values a largely unknown quantity, if fleets are to operate electric vans Alexander believes they should lease to avert taking risks with very expensive, unproven technology.When comparing vehicle operating costs, Whittam believes fleets must throw out the historic replacement cycle rule book, which typically dictates that vans must be replaced at intervals of up to five years."The monthly wholelife cost of running a diesel van versus an electric van are about the same. However, 72% of diesel van costs are in the running of the vehicle, but only 12% of electric van costs relate to running the vehicle," explains Whittam.Therefore, with the Ford Transit Electric Connect costing £39,999 to buy (it can also be leased), he says: "Businesses need to operate electric vans for as long as possible. The way fleets do business must change and replacement cycles must be adapted. Once a vehicle is paid for, run it into the ground."manager Monica Guise has seven electric MegaVans from French manufacturer Aixam on the organisation's 130-strong fleet although that number is to reduce as some are defleeted in the near future.Guise admits battery durability has been an issue with one van now on its third battery in five years and two more suffering problems at three to four years old.The university's carbon management programme means that vehicle funding is directly linked to vehicle emissions so the operation of zero emission electric vans is vital to budgetary opportunities."10% of the fleet is sustainable with vehicles running on either electric or hydrogen. As with all vehicles, wholelife costs are the key issue. Our experience tells us that electric vans do not last as long as diesel vans and are more expensive to operate," she explains. "When we have replaced the batteries they have cost £2,000 each, which is a lot of money when added to the cost of the vehicle."However, the experience has not put her off electric vans. Guise says: "Electric vans have been a step into the unknown, but I am anxious to run electric vans from other manufacturers. "Unfortunately, there are no wholelife cost figures for electric vehicles to compare with diesel or petrol vans."The key challenge facing van manufacturers, according to Phil Cane, Sainsbury's delivery operations manager for the 1,300-strong online fleet, is to increase electric vehicle range without reducing payload.The supermarket giant operates a central London-based home delivery fleet of 50 Edison electric vans, which are based on the Ford Transit and have been converted by Smith Electric Vehicles.With a near one-tonne payload, Sainsbury's has been operating electric vans since 2005 so has plenty of experience of day-to-day use.Cane says: "The range is 60 miles and that works for the company in central London. Sainsbury's requires a 3.5-tonne vehicle to get the required payload and we have worked closely with Smith Electric Vehicle because every kilogramme is vital."Energy density versus van payload is a big issue for the industry. The opportunity is available to us to introduce more electric vans in other areas and our practical experience of the Edison is very good, but payload cannot be compromised by larger batteries to extend range."one, which could take the industry some time to react to, says Dave Freeman, manager commercial vehicle specialist division at ING Car Lease, which has 12,000 vans on its 50,000-strong fleet.To help customers focus on electric vans, the company has bought a Transit Connect Electric and a diesel equivalent and is equipping both with telematics technology.Freeman says: "We will be loaning the vans to customers and the telemetry feedback we receive will provide valuable comparison data in terms of operational performance."Leasing companies, including ING Car Lease, are typically reluctant to lease a van beyond five years mainly because of fears of major component failure with the cost of repair sometimes more than the value of the vehicle."Our average van replacement cycle is presently 42 months and to operate a vehicle beyond five years will take client education," says Freeman.He remains surprised that vehicle manufacturers have not introduced hybrid vans, saying: "Fleets are asking questions about hybrid vans because hybrids are prevalent among passenger cars and seem to be reasonably successful. With electric vans there are a number of hurdles to overcome and fleet operators need reassurances in a number of areas."Nevertheless, concludes Lewis: "The business potential for electric vans is greater than that for cars because the technology fits in with a significant portion of the LCV market that relies on low mileage, low payload, back-to-base use, for example utility and delivery companies. "There is a lot of interest, but that has not manifested itself in many orders yet. Electric vans are still seen as a high-risk purchase and a lot of operators have been waiting for mainstream vehicle manufacturers to enter the market with their own dedicated electric vans, warranties and aftermarket support rather than relying on converted models."According to Azure Dynamics, fleets buying an electric van for use in an urban environment would start saving money at between four and four-and-a-half years. It claims that the Transit Connect Electric requires less than 50% of the service time and cost of a diesel versionElectric vehicle depreciation is a step into the dark for fleets with virtually no historical vehicle and price performance data available. Tim Cattlin, editor, CAP Commercial Vehicle Monitor, says: "Because the wealth of evidence available for other vehicles is not yet in existence for battery life, for example, CAP forecasts mirror the expected caution exercised by potential trade purchasers."It is possible that if batteries prove to have sufficient longevity, then this position will change and residual values could potentially be very strong. Until that evidence has been gathered over time, however, the forecast residual value position will inevitably reflect caution over battery life in particular."However, he adds: "It is clear that financial viability of electric vans improves over longer operating cycles, from seven years onward."The call for more Government support to encourage businesses to introduce electric vehicles on to their fleets was supported by Whittam, who says: "Customers that adopt 'green' technology for the right reasons should not be punished in terms of either vehicle price or unladen weight penalty. However, we think that the Government is receptive to the view that vans should be included in grant schemes."But the concept of 'buying your fuel upfront' for an electric vehicle is an alien V24 Month here 2011 fleetnews.co.uk fleetnews.co.uk Month here 2011 25Chevrolet Volt (deliveries from March 2012)Power: 111kW/150hpTop speed: 100mphRange: 50 miles in all-electric mode; 370 miles in total using range-extender engineCharging: Three hours from a 230v outletPrice: £28,545 (including £5,000 grant from OLEV)Lease: tbcWarranty: Five years/100,000 miles; eight years/100,000 miles for powertrainCosts: Combined fuel economy is said to be 235mpg - petrol refuelling only needed for longer journeys; around 45mpg expected when running on engine power. Otherwise, electricity as per an all-electric EV; no pence-per-mile figures as yet Citroen C-ZeroPower: 49kW/67hpTop speed: 80mphRange: 93 milesCharging: Seven hours or 80% on a 30-minute quick-chargePrice: Citroën doesn't quote; £5,000 grant from OLEV Lease: £415 per month (excl. VAT) over four years/40,000 miles, including battery pack and all servicing and routine maintenanceWarranty: Two years manufacturer warranty, six years dealer warranty (to 80,000 miles); five years drivetrain cover, 3 years from dealer (to 80,000 miles)Costs: As little as £1.50 for 93 miles for electricity (depending on tariff used); typically about 2p a mileFisker KarmaPower: 300kW/403hpTop speed: 125mph (95mph in all-electric mode)Range: 32 miles in all-electric mode, 300 miles using range-extender engineCharging: six to eight hours from domestic socketPrice: tba, but thought to be around £87,000Lease: tbcWarranty: 50 months/100,000 miles, servicing includedCosts: Electricity as per EV, plus a return of around 67mpg with engine running; 82g/km CO2; no pence per mile figures yetLease: PCP - £399.55 a month over 36 months (£5775 deposit), including servicingWarranty: 3 years/60,000 miles, 5 years/60,000 miles for electric drivetrain componentsCosts: Full charge from £1.30 (average £2); "2p per mile"Peugeot iONPower: 49kW/67hpTop speed: 81mphRange: 93 milesCharging: Around nine hours from a domestic supply; 50% in 15 minutes and 80% in 30 minutes at a quick-charge point. Price: £27,032.50 + VAT = £33,155, minus £5,000 OLEV grantLease: From £415 a month over 48 months, including servicing and batteryWarranty: Two years' manufacturer warranty + six years' dealer cover (to 80,000 miles); drivetrain cover five years from manufacturer + three years from dealer (to 80,000 miles)Costs: £1.93 for 93 milesRenault Fluence (deliveries from autumn 2012)Power: 70kw/95hpTop speed: 84mphRange: 115 milesCharging: Six to eight hours for a full charge, depending on power supplyPrice: £17,850 inc VAT (after £5,000 OLEV grant)Lease: tbcWarranty: Three years (up to 100,000 miles); powertrain up to five years (100,000 miles); extended warranties available wit Z.E Box maintenance packageCosts: “Less than £3 for a full recharge; battery lease £69.60 a month inc VAT (36 months, 6,000 miles a year); £81 a month for 9,000 miles a year; variable options via ZE Box packageTata Indica Vista EVPower: 50kW/68hpTop speed: 65mphRange: 100 milesCharging: Eight hours from a domestic outletPrice: n/a; full consumer launch 2012 after initial trials with fleetsLease: £190 a month for one year (initial trial period), including insurance, servicing, maintenance, breakdown coverWarranty: Included in initial trial lease (see above)Costs: Less than £1.50 for a full charge“; 1.5p a mile Mitsubishi i-MiEVPower: 49kW/67hpTop speed: 80mphRange: 93 milesCharging: Seven hours or 80% on a 30-minute quick-chargePrice: £28,990 minus £5,000 OLEV grant (incl. VAT - TBC?)Lease: After three months initial payment, £399 + VAT a month over 47 months (10,000 miles a year)Warranty: Five years battery warranty, three years vehicle warrantyCosts: Three years servicing, £300. Full charge from £1.05, average £2.05 (depending on electricity tariff); "£270 for 12,000 miles" (2.25p a mile) overallNissan LeafPower: 80kW/109hpTop speed: 90mphRange: 109 milesCharging: Eight hours using the British Gas-supplied charger or 12 hours on standard domestic charger; 80% in 30 minutes quick-chargePrice: £30,990 minus £5,000 OLEV grantPLUG-IN CARS: WHICH ONES ARE AVAILABLE NOW?Farah Alkhalisi looks at the early adopters, and what's to come.Farah Alkhalisi looks at the early adopters, and what's to come CONTINUES ON PAGE 26