Fleet News

Electric Vehicle Leasing in 2012

If you’re old enough to remember, then we were all led to believe that we were supposed to be driving around in Sinclair C5’s by now or was it flying cars that Tomorrow’s World said we’d be transporting our families. With fuel prices appearing to increase on an almost daily basis, and company car drivers concerned with the benefit in kind, Electric Car Leasing is going to certainly become the way to drive in year’s to come.

All the mainstream manufacturers have spent millions on production and research and they appear to be going on one of two ways. Petrol Hybrid or Electric – it’s a bit like the VHS v Betamax scenario. The smart money appears to on the electric models and with 2012 seeing the launch of Peugeot, Citroen, Ford, Chevrolet, Mazda and the car of the year, the Nissan Leaf there’s going to be plenty of choice. The government have also introduced a 25% discount or £5k maximum subsidy on all electric vehicles registered upto the 31st March 2012 or until the funds run out.

As the technology is so new its very difficult to predict where residual values will sit in three years time, but one can only imagine that they are going to be fairly favourable, and a number of the leasing companies have pre-ordered vehicles to pre-empt the expected demand for these vehicles.

Now, I’m not saying that electric vehicles will be for everyone especially a company car driver doing 30,000mpa however for city or town drivers they have to be the sensible choice and councils/supermarkets/gym’s all need to install charging points. There’s even rumour that when you park for a supermarket and plug your car in, swiping your loyalty car will be essential – this is so the supermarkets know how long you’ve spent in their shops.

Let’s look at the costs involved with the running of an electric vehicle. For example, the Nissan Leaf will cost circa £23,500 after the government’s subsidy and Nissan claim that it costs on average 2p per mile. This means that in comparison to a Bluemotion diesel VW Golf, this would save approx. 11p per mile or if you’re covering the average 12,000 miles per year, £1090.

Mazda are developing an electric version of their hugely popular 2 range and intend to commence leasing the vehicles in 2012. Costs are yet to be released.

I think that the general initial problems will arise with maintenance though – how reliable will the batteries be if they aren’t charged correctly and will manufacturers start placing restrictions on how many warranty claims customers can have on this basis. Drivers will have to be aware of the range their particular vehicle can achieve and charge accordingly. If the vehicles are charged on a nightly basis then they should last their full duration but short 25 minute quick charges so the vehicles are at 80% capacity will damage the batteries and lead to a shorter life.

Overall, I can see these vehicles becoming increasing popular over the next few years as fleets and the general public look at ever increasing motoring costs.

Author: Alternative Route Finance

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