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Business servicesManufacturer newsFleetprofileFunding methodsNews digestCar RecruitmentreviewsAdditionally, many leasing companies are not offering the option to lease electric vehicles on contract hire as there is no residual value at the end of the hire term period; this is the same whether the lease term is three, four or five years despite the manufacturer and converter offering up to three years' warranty on the batteries. Parking is also an issue for electric vans used on patrols. In order to improve the charging time, the AA would have to use a three-phase recharging hub. These are available at its commercial partners premises, but a parking fee per annum would be charged. Dopson says this could mean having to provide additional transport for the patrol to travel to and from home to charging location.However, the main operational restriction is the limited range of electric vehicles, especially as the majority of the AA's work is unplanned. The average daily mileage for an AA patrol vehicle is 62 miles but this does depend on a varying workload. The 62Average daily mileage of an AA patrol vehicle'We have seen a 16-mile decrease in range when the EVs are laden'Sarah Dopson, head of group fleet, road operations at the AAunladen range on a fully-charged Peugeot E Expert, for example, is 69 miles. However, this can be reduced by up to 30 miles by using the heater, wipers, lights, carrying equipment, air con and the speed the vehicle is driven. This would mean that, due to the payload and range restrictions, an electric vehicle would only be suitable to carry out a Level 1 break-down, which covers flat batteries and tyres etc. This level of breakdown is currently being undertaken by the AA's motorbike fleet."We always try to deploy the closest patrol to the member," said Dopson. "However, this is not always possible as it also depends if recovery is required especially for members outside of their home area. From initial results we have seen a 16-mile decrease in range when laden. The range also depends on the time charged; on average, three minutes charge will give a 1% improvement on range. It is still early days but the initial feedback is that it is faring well under the conditions."The AA fleetCommercial LCV 3,039 (Contract hire, four years, average annual mileage 25,000)Commercial HGV 280 (contract hire, five years, average annual mileage 150,000)Motorbike 50 (contract hire, three years, average annual mileage 20,000)Driving school (BSM & AA) 4,477 (manufacturer buyback funded via leasing provider, eight-month term, 18,000 miles)Company cars (AA, Saga & Nestor) 428 - AA (contract hire 3yr/60k or 4yr/80k)Titan passenger carriers 138 (contract hire/outright purchase, 3yr/150k)Museum 35 - owned

One in eight drivers 'nod off' at the wheelIt only takes seconds of sleep behind the wheel to cause a fatal crash, but research released by Brake and Cambridge Weight Plan reveals one in eight drivers has 'head-nodded' while driving in the past year. Head-nodding occurs when someone nods off for between two and 30 seconds, often without real­ising that they have been asleep. The survey of 1,000 drivers also revealed risky behaviour among many that can contribute to tiredness, with one in four admitting embarking on a journey when they already felt drowsy.Read more...Scottish council slashes fuel useWest Dunbartonshire Council has lowered CO2 emissions and reduced annual fuel costs by more than £100,000 following the introduction of vehicle tracking technology. The council, which runs a fleet of 380 vehicles with operating costs of more than £2 million, invested in a fleet management system from TomTom Business Solutions. Rodney Thornton, the council's head of fleet and waste services, said the fuel cost savings were a consequence of "improvements to the way council vehicle operators carry out their duties".Read more...Road deaths fall below 2,000Annual deaths on Britain's roads have fallen below 2,000 for the first time since records began, proving the value and effectiveness of having a strong road safety strategy, says the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents. Figures published by the Department for Transport reveal that 1,857 News digestAlphabet to buy ING Car Lease in £590 million dealAlphabet, the fleet management division of BMW Group, is to buy ING Car Lease for £590 million. The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2011, subject to regulatory approvals.ING Car Lease was eighth in the FN50's list of the UK's top 50 contract hire companies, with a risk fleet of 47,615 vehi­cles, while Alphabet was ninth with 47,176 vehicles. A combined operation would put it at number three in the FN50 with 94,791 vehicles. "ING Car Lease is the perfect fit to complement the activities of Alphabet," said Norbert van den Eijnden, head of Alphabet.Read more...