The Editor’s View

HYBRIDS will be the propulsion form of choice for most early adopter fleets pursuing alternatives to petrol or diesel-only power, according to a new report by Lex Autolease. However, perhaps by 2014/15, electric vehicles (EVs) will enter the fold as an increasingly viable option, concludes the ‘Next Generation Fleet’ report. The tipping point, it says, will be the establishment of a mature recharging infrastructure. However, while easy access to recharging points is essential, equally importantly, are EV residual values. Second hand EV values remain an unknown quantity and manufacturers must work hard to ensure that the EV wholelife cost equation stacks up from a fleet perspective. Currently EV list prices are artificially low due to the availability of a Government grant. The grant programme is due to be reviewed next spring. Superior benefit-in-kind, Vehicle Excise Duty, National Insurance and fuel costs may currently favour EVs, but on a level financial playing field electric power has a long way to go in the wholelife cost stakes to overcome the combustion engine.

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