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EV test drives confirmed at our conference

Date: 29 November 2018   |   Author: Simon Harris

Delegates will be able to try plug-in cars and vans for themselves following the presentations. Simon Harris reports.

Fleet decision-makers will be offered the chance to drive plug-in cars and vans following the National Green Mobility Conference (NGMC) on 6 December.

The conference, presented by BusinessCar and WhatVan?, targets fleet operators that are considering adopting electrified vehicles, and are seeking guidance on their suitability as well as how to make the transition.

Following the presentations and the Q&A sessions, attendees will be able to take
test drives in electric and plug-in hybrid cars provided by event sponsor BMW Group UK.

The company will provide vehicles with two different electrified powertrain choices: the fully electric BMW i3 and the Mini Countryman Cooper S E All4.

The BMW i3 is a compact car whose dimensions make it ideal for city driving, and for 2019 it benefits from improved battery chemistry compared with the original model launched in 2013.

It means a maximum range of 192 miles on the WLTP combined cycle, and potentially even greater distance for city driving.

Although the i3 was launched with a choice of a battery-only version, or one equipped with a range extender engine to charge the battery when driving and increase the range, the latter has been deleted from the line-up following improvements in battery capacity.

One of the drawbacks of electric vehicles is the weight of the battery pack, especially ones of the capacity needed to travel a significant distance on a single charge.

The i3 is made from sophisticated lightweight-yet-strong carbon fibre, and is available with 170hp for the standard i3 and 183hp for the i3S.

The Mini Countryman Cooper S E All4 was launched late in 2016 and is Mini's first plug-in hybrid. The car uses a 1.5-litre petrol engine and an electric motor, with up to 26 miles of zero-emission range from a single charge.

The engine and electric motor combine to produce a maximum power output of 224hp with CO2 emissions of up to 56g/km.

LCV operators might be interested in sampling the latest electric LDV EV80 large van, which has a potential maximum range of more than 120 miles on a single charge.

The EV80 is available as a panel van, crew cab, minimbus and chassis cab.

There are a few days left to register for the NGMC, which will be held at the Jurys Inn in Milton Keynes.

The event is sponsored by Ensto Solutions, a specialist in electric vehicle charging infrastructure, with further support for the event from Lightfoot and Licence Check, with BMW and Mini as car manufacturer sponsors.

Recently confirmed as a speaker is Paul Hollick, managing director at consultancy TMC and chairman of fleet training organisation ICFM. He will talk about the strategy behind implementing ultra-low-emission vehicles - using data to identify where they will work, ensuring the charging infrastructure is in place and then the ongoing monitoring of drivers (particularly of plug-in hybrid vehicles).

A well-known industry figure, Hollick is also a panellist and presenter at various domestic and international conferences.

Hollick has held senior board roles within retail, OEM, leasing, fleet management, fuel, mobility and technology businesses.

Other expert speakers at the event include: Dr Colin Herron CBE, managing director of Zero Carbon Futures; Ville Parviainen and Visa Parviainen of electric vehicle charging infrastructure specialist Ensto; and Kieran Coughlan of UK Power Networks.