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BVRLA warns of EV knowledge gap

Date: 13 April 2011

The vehicle rental and leasing industry is calling for manufacturers to provide fleets with more detailed operational guidelines for electric vehicles, according to the BVRLA.

"With little detailed information on vehicle performance, warranty terms or the wear and tear of parts and components, BVRLA members have virtually nothing to go on when trying to set residual values or predict maintenance and repair costs for electric vehicles," it said.

"Due to a lack of historic information, we are out of our comfort zone as we are unable to rely on factual information, including gut instinct," said Phil Turle, fleet services controller at ALD Automotive, speaking at a recent EV event attended by delegates from the BVRLA Technical and Operations Forum.

He said that ALD was addressing this knowledge gap and had analysed the performance of its fleet of Toyota Prius hybrids to get an idea of their reliability and usage. In addition, the company was also road testing a number of EV cars and working closely with manufacturers to ensure their information is both accurate and reliable.

"The vehicle rental and leasing industry recognises the urgent need for fleets to adopt ultra-low carbon technology and is working hard to facilitate the shift," said BVRLA chief executive, John Lewis.

"BVRLA members can be great advocates for the move to electric motoring, but we need to look beyond the short-term taxpayer funded incentives and marketing hype surrounding electric vehicles and find some of the answers that will enable early adopters to have the confidence to take on EVs in volume.

He added: "We will see a number of electric evangelists making impulse purchases, but the vast majority of fleets will need reassurance that these vehicles are fit for purpose and that it makes financial sense to run them."

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