Cenex announces extension to the Plugged-in Midlands

Cenex has announced an extension to the Plugged-in Midlands scheme, offering a package of grant funding opportunities for electric and plug-in hybrid vehicle charging infrastructure which will run until 31st March 2014.   The new scheme will complement the original Plugged-in Midlands (PiM) scheme, which offered grant funding towards the capital costs associated with vehicle charging infrastructure, and which ran until the end of March. The original scheme will have part-funded over 600 charging points across both the East and West Midlands when work currently in progress is completed.   The new scheme will continue to encourage the installation of fast and safe charging points, using the latest technology as demanded by all mainstream manufacturers of electric vehicles. However, whereas the old scheme was very broad – providing a wide range of charge point options to any individual or organisation based in the Midlands…

Slow electric car sales predicted to continue

Internal-combustion engines are driving the drop in carbon emissions as sales of electric cars are set to fall far short of official expectations, suggests the RAC Foundation.   The Committee on Climate Change has previously said it would be “feasible and desirable”, to have up to 1.7 million fully electric and plug-in hybrid cars on the road by 2020. But most industry analysts predict the number will be significantly lower.   However average new car emissions in 2020 are still likely to meet the EU target of 95g/km because of the refinement of existing technologies.   Powering Ahead, a review by the consultancy Ricardo-AEA of a range of authoritative market forecasts, shows even the more positive assessments foresee only 200,000 plug-in hybrid and pure battery powered cars being sold each year in the UK by 2020.   Some experts think sales of these types…

Motorcycle engine to help power BMW Electric Vehicle

BMW is all set to use a motorcycle engine to help it introduce the first model in a radical electric car range.   Officials at the car firm have decided to offer the petrol unit as an option in a bid to allay fears that batteries might not provide a sufficient range for their new i3 city model.   On sale from the end of the year, the first premium five-door hatchback EV is claimed to offer up to 100 miles of emission-free travel for four people and their luggage.   But this distance will be almost doubled with the addition of the 650cc, twin-cylinder engine, which usually powers models built by Motorrad, BMW’s two-wheeler division.   Slotted in alongside the regular electric motor at the rear of the car, the petrol engine is designed to come into action when the i3’s batteries run…

Leased EV batteries to contribute to P11D

HMRC has confirmed that the P11D price for EVs will include the price of the battery even if the battery is leased rather than purchased outright.   While the 2010 Budget announced a five year tax break for battery electric vehicles, from 2015, battery electric vehicles will begin paying company car tax based on a BIK rate of 5%. An EV’s P11D price will therefore become an important consideration from April 2015.   EV manufacturers that sell electric models with separate battery leasing contracts will therefore have to quantify a value for the battery, plus VAT, and add this to the up-front price of the vehicle to calculate the P11D value. EVs which are sold with batteries included will have their P11D calculated in the normal way as for conventional vehicles.   For example, under the new rules a company car driver choosing a…

Citroen Berlingo joins the electric van line-up

Citroen has used this year’s Commercial Vehicle Show, held at the Birmingham NEC, to give a UK debut to the Berlingo Electric van.   Set to go on-sale later this year, the second generation all-electric Berlingo builds on the French brand’s experience with the 1998-2005 Berlingo Electrique van. Based on the standard Berlingo (unsurprisingly) the zero emission van features a 49kW electric motor and 22.5kWh lithium ion battery pack, made up of 80 cells, which gives a range of up to 106 miles, which top speed is limited to 110km/h (68.75mph).   With the ability to be recharged from a standard domestic plug socket, the Berlingo Electric can also use a 380V three-phase terminal to quick charge 80% of the battery in 35 minutes. Best of all, the current Berlingo was designed with electric power in mind from the outset, which means that the…

Boris backs electric vehicles for London

The Mayor of London has announced his intention to create the world’s first Ultra Low Emission Zone in central London, with the aim to deliver dramatic benefits in air quality.   Boris Johnson believes that the decision will provide a major spur for the further development and mass take-up of zero and low emission vehicles.   He has asked Transport for London to prepare plans to look at introducing a scheme that would aim to ensure all vehicles driving in the centre of the capital during working hours would be zero or low emission, and the feasibility of introducing such a scheme from 2020.   The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: “Creating the world’s first big city ultra low emission zone has the potential to be a game changing moment in the quality of life of our great capital. My vision is a…

Volkswagen e-Up electric car revealed

The Volkswagen e-Up has been revealed ahead of its public debut at the 2013 Frankfurt motor show in September. It’s an electric version of the Up city car that will go on sale in the UK in early 2014.   The e-Up has an electric motor that develops 155lb ft of torque and peak power of 81bhp. It’s powered by a lithium-ion battery that’s mounted under the car’s floor.   Volkswagen quotes a maximum range of 150km (93 miles), and says that the e-Up can be recharged to up to 80 per cent of its energy storage within 30 minutes.   On the outside the e-Up looks much like other Up models, but it gets a different front bumper that incorporates LED running lights. The bumper also has a smoother shape to improve aerodynamics; new side sills and underbody panels serve the same purpose….

Electric vans go to work at holiday parks

Center Parcs has taken delivery of 22 new electric Renault Kangoo Maxi Van Z.E. models.   The new models were handed over recently at Sherwood Forest and will be used across Center Parcs’ other UK villages including, Elveden Forest, Longleat Forest and Whinfell Forest and its forthcoming fifth village, Woburn Forest, due to open Spring 2014.   The new electric vehicles form part of a fleet of 150 vehicles and will be used by the technical services and maintenance division and the “Dining-In” takeaway delivery operation which transports food and beverages to guests.   The Kangoo Van Z.E.s were chosen after a rigorous selection process with Center Parcs keen to ensure its vehicle fleet is as green as possible, in keeping with its overall sustainability ethos. The Kangoo vans beat competition based on a range of factors including running costs, reliability, practicality, payload and…

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