Paul Barker's blog: 5 November 2013 - The move towards ultra low-emission vehicles
05 November 2013
Paul Barker is editor of BusinessCar
Alphabet has taken a lead in the plug-in vehicle market, offering a comprehensive array of services designed to help business car fleets that aren't yet sure whether the technology suits them.
We're still talking small numbers for this fledgling sector, but, as the Energy Saving Trust's Caroline Watson told attendees at the Alpha Electric launch last month, 20% of ultra low-emission vehicles registered since the end of 2011 came in the second quarter of 2013.
The product is now arriving from a number of manufacturers, with BMW's new i3, coming this month, and Volkswagen following suit with two models, based on the regular and recognised Up and Golf passenger cars, with us by the end of next year.
The vehicles are arriving in a wide variety and from enough different brands, and now Alphabet is making the biggest step yet by a leasing company by offering more than simply the ability to lease vehicles (though other firms have similar plans underway).
Its scheme includes what's effectively try-before-you-buy and money-back guarantees on certain plug-in models. And others are sure to follow suit very shortly.
Although electric vehicles won't suit everyone until the range trebles, or inductive charging loops installed in Britain's roads mean they can charge as they drive, the technology and infrastructure are all developing nicely.