More evidence — if more evidence is needed — that electric cars, vans and minibuses are already commercially viable for business use, where usage patterns are highly predictable.
A Cornish taxi firm, C&C Taxis of St Austell, has just added a Nissan e-NV200 Combi minibus/people carrier electric vehicle to its taxi fleet, which already includes six electric Nissan LEAF cars.
The five-seater Combi – Next Green Car’s LCV of the Year – has since clocked up more than 1,000 miles across the Duchy.
Already C&C’s fleet manager, Mark Richards, is sure the company’s onto another winner, calculating that, just like each LEAF on the fleet, the e-NV200 Combi will save £10,000 in fuel bills per year.
The additional versatility and practicality the e-NV200 Combi provides has convinced him to commit to a long-term strategy of phasing out the company’s remaining diesel vehicles and replacing them all with EVs.Mark said:
“We’ve had such great success with our LEAFs we decided we were going to buy an e-NV200 the minute we learnt it was going to be launched.
“Now we have one, we’re absolutely delighted with it. It does everything the LEAF does but is much bigger and offers more space.”
“We’ll definitely be ordering more.”
Priced from £17,855 (including the £5,000 Government Plug-in Car Grant), the e-NV200 Combi is capable of covering 106 miles on a single charge and can be charged from zero to 80% full in as little as 30 minutes and offers near purchase price parity with diesel models, as I’ve written before.
Although electric vehicles are unlikely to make it into mainstream daily van and minibus rental fleets anytime soon, due to their range and charging restrictions, I’m pretty sure that we’ll be seeing more businesses adopt electric vans and people carriers like the e-NV200 in 2015.