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Ampera: New Vauxhall is first to use range extended EV technology


Author: Robin Roberts

Small businesses look to lead the way in the purchase of new technology vehicles such as hybrids and full electric cars and vans.

A generation gap is becoming more apparent, as younger drivers tend towards hybrids or plug-in powered vehicles; older drivers are stuck in their ways in their fuddy-duddy fossil fuel cars. Some businesses will want the latest models to use as mobile advertisements catching the eyes of potential clients.

“In cities, a great majority – between 80% and 90% of vehicles – drive fewer than 40 kilometres a day. It is natural for people to use electric vans and cars for this type of driving,” said Philippe Aussourd, president of AVERE, the electric vehicle association.

Battery-powered electric vehicles, hydrogen-fuelled cars and alternative fuel such as biofuel are among the many technologies being looked into by vehicle makers to try and create a new generation of green commercial vehicles. However electric vehciles are still plagued by three main issues: their expensive batteries make them much more costly than conventional vehicles; they require a network of points where they can be charged, which has yet to be installed; and they typically have a range of 80-100 miles.

Assourd claims that many of these issues can be easily overcome by simply creating a greater infrastructure to support the vehicles. However whilst this does not exist, businesses will be unwilling to adopt green technology as it is simply not economically viable at present. Running cost per mile may be very inexpensive, but the cost of the vehicle or running out of juice miles from your destination? It doesn’t look to be worthwhile yet.

However businesses must be seen to be going green as well as actually making the move.

If the internal combustion engine is banned from urban areas by 2050 as wanted by the EU, then companies in towns and cities will have to make the switch as the prohibition is expected to be gradually ramped up by way of “emissions charges”.

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