February 24, 2016 at 2:11 PM
Direct Line's Research has come out with the very small figure of 0.01% ultra-low emission vehicles (ULEV) currently driving around on British roads.
Despite that this number grows year-on-year the ULEV desperately remain extremely marginal. Though the government subsidies covering up to 20% of the price of a new ULEV, companies do not seem to be tempted by the adventure. Why so?
- Let's be honest the major problem is the range, the average van driver drives something around 250 miles per day; while the average range of a ULEV van is around 100 miles, this means that the driver would have to stop for almost one hour to two hours a day to recharge their batteries (in the case of superfast 20-30 minutes chargers).
- Apart from the range issue, the charging infrastructure is still very weak, facilities are not very frequent on the road, there are only 2,000 superfast chargers across the country versus roughly 8,500 petrol stations.
- Another element that is crucial for a business is the depreciation, as technology evolves there is a very high chance that your electric van will depreciate much quicker than a diesel one. Why? Simply because the range will increase on most recent models and therefore devaluate yours.
In the end ULEV sales will not take off unless there is a real will coming from both the authorities and the manufacturers to improve the conditions of the market.