Are electric cars an option for your fleet?

Most of the leading car manufacturers are producing electric vehicles (EV) with more becoming available in Australia. However, are they suitable for your fleet – or personal use?

First, let’s look at the trends overseas.

The overseas success

In Europe for example, the various incentives for fuel efficient and electric vehicles include free registration, rebates to reduce purchase prices, exemption from congestion taxes and use of bus lanes and special parking spaces. Not only has Europe focused on increasing electric vehicle sales, but has also put pressure on manufacturers to reduce the average fuel consumption of their standard internal combustion vehicles. And the stats show it has worked.

The EU target of an average fuel consumption of 5.6 litres per hundred kilometres for new passenger vehicles was successfully reached in 2015, with the new target now 4.1 litres by 2020. In Australia, by contrast, the average emissions for new passenger vehicles was 7.7 last year, nearly 40% higher.


The Australian potential

The Australian government have, naturally enough, focused on promoting Australian made vehicles and has incorporated these into their own fleets.  However, as last Australian made car rolls off the assembly line, the Australian government may place more focus on electric vehicles and introduce incentives that have worked overseas.

To date, there are a number of EV’s available in Australia, with one, the Nissan Leaf, recently, winning International Car of Year.


Are EV’s suitable for your fleet?

The Leaf isn’t a hybrid car, it’s completely electric. This means it does not have a petrol or diesel powered engine to supplement. There are no emissions and provides a quiet ride.

The engine design provides instant power. Electric motors produce 100% of their torque at zero RPM which provides instant acceleration with no lag.

The Leaf features are typical of a conventional compact car. It has room for 4-5 occupants and a boot of reasonable volume.

The pack of lithium-ion batteries sits under the floor and between the axles for maximised storage space. Its range between recharges is up to 8 hours in a home supply point.

With more charging stations and models coming into the Australian market, we should be seeing more EV’s in our fleets, cleaner air, reduced fleet costs and quieter streets.

Additional information: Gilchrist Clendinnen –  Fleet Auto News.

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