Fleets are often the pioneers of major changes in the motoring industry.
It is not a surprising scenario, many motorists drive for pleasure, some might say that their car is vital to get them to work in the morning, but it is businesses that rely on cars and vans that are most sensitive to the fluctuations in the sector that can help give their firm the crucial economic advantage in a tight economy.
It is perhaps for these reasons that the UK’s major electronic vehicle (EV) and alternatively-fuelled car exhibition is targeting the fleet sector before any other.
These cars, such as electric and hybrid powered models, are often mooted as the future of the automotive industry, as the planet’s resources of fossil fuels inevitably dwindle
and traditional power sources become increasingly expensive.
However, they are not without their detractors, many people argue they are currently too expensively, or they are too impractical due to a lack of charging points.
The EV & Low CO2 event at Silverstone in April gives fleet managers the perfect chance to answer these questions for themselves.
Most of the automobile industry’s finest will send their latest and most advanced models to the expo as they look to woo influential people in the fleet sector.
One such company will be Peugeot.
The French manufacturer has announced that it has chosen the event as the perfect place to launch its new 208 supermini, which it hopes to position as an alternative to electric cars.
Despite not being electric, the car does have both diesel and petrol engines which are capable producing less than 100 grams of carbon dioxide per kilometre – the magic figure which ensures that companies pay less car tax.
Ross Durkin, managing editor of organisers Fleet World, said: “We are delighted that Peugeot has chosen the EV & Low CO2 Fleet Show to launch its new 208 supermini to fleets. The new 208 seems certain to attract a lot of attention from show visitors.
“This year’s show will give fleet decision makers a unique insight into the many and varied engine technologies that are available today, from the very latest low carbon diesel and petrol models, to both petrol and now diesel electric hybrids and through to pure electric vehicle offerings.”
As well as Peugeot, BMW, Renault, Nissan, Peugeot and Citroen have already confirmed that they will be bringing hybrid or fully electric cars to the venue.
“It is our intention to provide visitors to the show with the opportunity to experience current products, learn from the manufacturers what they are planning and to hear from independent experts what they think the future holds for fleets,” added Mr Durkin
Anyone who is still unsure about the options, after all they are all somewhat unproven for commercial use, could make use of a car leasing scheme. This could allow businesses to assess the merits of each one of the alternative fuel technology cars for a short period to find which is best for them.
Car leasing is also a viable option for those companies who are adamant that EVs are for them. Currently the cars that make use of lithium batteries are much more expensive than similar internal combustion engine versions, but those who a hire their cars will not need to worry about any of the upfront costs associated with privately purchasing a vehicle.
There is also the maintenance to think about.
Even the most well prepared company will find it a struggle to fix an electric car if it breaks down. Those who have took the plunge to buy their own will need to fork out additional money for any repairs, but those who have opted for car leasing can simply return it to let someone else worry about the technical intricacies.
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