Taxi drivers and local van couriers have been among the most enthusiastic adopters of electric and hybrid vehicles as they bring significant lower costs per mile. New models will spread those benefits to more commercial vehicle users.
Although getting the best value for money for taxi insurance or courier insurance is obviously important, cost savings from using an electric or hybrid vehicle are significant too. Government grants make the initial purchase cheaper, congestion charges and road tax are lower and, of course, charging batteries from the grid is cheaper than filling up with petrol or diesel.
Expansion outside urban areas
But it’s often only in cities and dense urban areas that taxi drivers feel confident enough to use these cars.
In rural areas the fear of being caught out when batteries run flat means that hybrids are more often chosen over electric vehicles. In urban areas there are simply more places to charge an electric vehicle at short notice.
Journey patterns in urban areas – higher numbers of shorter trips – are perfect for electric and hybrid vehicles too. There is little or no ‘warming up’ phase with electric motors, they consume no power at standstill and move off immediately, without having to put extra power into starting the engine.
New models, better range
But upcoming models may make it possible for taxi drivers and couriers in less urban areas to embrace electric and hybrid vehicles.
The new Nissan Leaf has been announced with a 50 per cent increase in range over the existing model. Prices start at £21,990 including the government grant and over 10,000 have been pre-ordered across Europe. The range is said to be 235 miles which should allow the Leaf to perform well in rural areas and on all-important airport runs, and Nissan says that first deliveries will start in February 2018.
Local couriers often use cars but electric vans are on our roads already and increasing in number. Nissan’s e-NV200 will also have a 60% range upgrade in 2018 and electric versions of Citroen’s Berlingo and Renault’s Kangoo are perfect for deliveries. All major manufacturers of transit-style vans already have, or have announced, electric variants.
If you’re considering an electric or hybrid vehicle to use for a taxi or courier operation then you’ll also need the right insurance cover at the right price – visit Total Van Courier Insurance today.