Liberty Electric Cars’s retail operation GoinGreen will open its second outlet in Peterborough this spring, followed by Coventry mid-year and Newton Abbot, near its head office in Devon, in the final quarter.
Next year it will offer franchise opportunities to independent car dealers – three have already expressed an interest.
Their main business in the short-term will be vans, with fleet customers such as parcel delivery firms, councils and trusts the target audience.
Liberty’s range includes the 3.5-tonne Faam Jolly, priced £49,000 (excl. the £8,000 government grant) and available as cargo van, pick-up or tipper; the smaller £34,000 Faam Ecomile, available in a series of body types; and a converted Citroen Nemo, priced £19,995,with 430kg load-carrying capacity.
“The total cost of ownership on the electric Nemo – the point at which it becomes more economically viable than the diesel – is under two years in London at 50 miles a day,” said Liberty Electric Cars chief executive officer Ian Hobday (pictured). “Outside of London it’s less than three years.”
At the Commercial Vehicle Show in April, Liberty will unveil its latest light commercial vehicle, the Brandt, which will be capable of accommodating two euro pallets. Priced close to £20,000 and offering a range of 60-70 miles, it will also qualify for the government grant.
Sales this year will be around 100 vehicles, primarily the Faam Jolly, with three leasing companies so far agreeing to provide terms to businesses. Hobday wouldn’t be pressed into further sales predictions for Liberty, although he believes the total market for electric vehicles will run to “thousands” by 2016.
“It’s not a question of if it will be EV; it will be EV,” he said. “EV will take over from ICE – it’s only a question of time.”