A plug-in electric hybrid van aimed specifically at fleets has been launched.
The Idea, a multi-use LCV designed to be run by urban-based delivery fleets with typical round journeys of 50 miles, is claimed to be between five and 10 times more efficient than current combustion engine powered vans.
Bright Automotive said when it introduces the zero-emission van here, probably in 2013, it will make it available to lease on typical three-year contracts.
On a full charge, the van, which has a 1-tonne cargo capacity, uses battery power for the first 30 miles, using little or no petrol.
After this, it functions like other hybrids.
On a 50-mile daily urban route, the Idea uses just over two litres of petrol, which is equivalent to getting 100mpg.
But over a 70-mile journey that drops to 70mpg.
High volume production will begin in the US by the end of 2012 – with an annual run rate of 50,000 units in 2013.
“We created the Idea by starting with a clean sheet of paper, listening to customer needs, and using breakthrough technologies and materials,” said John E. Waters, CEO and President of Bright Automotive.
“We are not publishing the acquisition cost yet,” Lyle Shuey, Bright Automotive vice president of marketing and sales told Fleet News.
“However, we have determined that the Idea will provide a cost of ownership advantage for commercial fleet customers.”
Bright consulted over 50 fleet managers in the van’s development.
As a result of this fleet input, the manufacturer claims the Idea is the first high-volume plug-in hybrid electric vehicle to be designed exclusively for commercial and government fleet use.
Meanwhile, the electric Th!nk city car has been granted the first pan-European homologation certificate for an electric vehicle.
The new certificate only became available from the start of the month, and is intended to help accelerate the introduction of roadworthy EVs.
It means the car can now be registered in each European country without additional national tests or approvals.
The Th!nk has ABS brakes, airbags and three-point safety belts meaning it meets all of the primary safety requirements expected of modern cars.