For most people who are either already using or considering electric and hybrid vehicles, there are two main considerations.
The first of these is environmental. Transport accounts for around 23% of overall CO2 emissions from fossil fuel combustion globally, and around 15% of all greenhouse gas emissions. Global CO2 emissions from transport have grown by 45% over the past three decades or so, and green issues are at the top of the agenda for many individuals, businesses, governments, and other organisations.
The second consideration is one of cost. No one’s denying that electric vehicles require a higher initial outlay. They do present the opportunity for low-cost motoring, however, and the more you use them, the more you’ll end up saving. This can be particularly pertinent if you cover a lot of miles commercially or operate a fleet of vehicles.
Even the greenest-minded of individuals (or businesses) will also appreciate saving money and environmental and cost issues will often overlap. As well as the cost-per-mile saving, for example, there may be additional benefits such as low or zero road tax bands and exemption or discounts on the London Congestion Charge (or other toll roads in your area). As attitudes continue to change and electric vehicles become more common, the question may eventually be whether you can afford not to make your commercial vehicles electric.
How much choice is available?
There are some issues, of course, and one is to do with choice. An ever-increasing number of electric cars are entering the market, but vans are not so common. A vehicle like a Fiat Scudo conversion might be perfect for your business but if you are looking to go electric, your options are more limited. Sticking with Fiat, the Italians did unveil an electric version of the Fiorino, with the electric version (developed by Micro-Vett) being launched simultaneously with the endothermic version – the first time this had happened in automotive history.
The Fiorino is a good, versatile choice for a range of tasks, but if you want an electric version in the UK, you’ll have to seek out a specialist such as EVC-UK, who can supply a version that mixes the van’s ingenious load capacity with a 270mpg equivalent economy.
Another potential problem is with range with electric vehicles. This will depend on your usage and might not be a problem at all. If you need vans to ferry goods, people, or tools to nearby sites on a regular basis, fully electric vehicles could be the ideal choice. Hybrid vehicles can also increase range.