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Motiva says first EV deal is shape of things to come

The fleet solutions firm has completed a contract for a BMW i3 with a North Staffordshire-based catering firm. Dominic Bowers, managing director of Delicious, has implemented the car to cut costs and reduce his carbon footprint and says the vehicle could be rolled out elsewhere in the company, which runs several cafes and vending machines locally, if it proves up to the job.

Commenting on the deal, Motiva Group sales and marketing director Peter Wright said: ‘As a company, we’ve always been open to the idea of alternative fuel vehicles, but have shied away from putting them on our fleet in the past largely because of general uncertainty surrounding their true viability and of worries about residual values.

‘This BMW seems to represent a giant leap in terms of technology and is by far the best we’ve seen so far. It’s the first serious alternative to petrol and diesel.

‘It looks good, has a contemporary feel and it drives well. It’s an electric vehicle that has been designed from scratch, rather than adapted version of something that already exists, and you can certainly tell the difference.

‘There are obvious savings to be made on fuel costs and emissions, but there are major tax breaks for companies too and this deal could be the one to start a trend.’

Wright sees the vehicle as a big step in the right direction in the search for alternative fuel vehicles that work for fleets. But he stops short of predicting that it will revolutionise the market.

‘This could be the ideal solution for companies whose vehicles perhaps make several trips around town every day, or for those who commute to work,’ he added.

‘But for fleets running higher-mileage journeys with wider coverage and unscheduled trips, there are still range issues that need to be addressed.

‘While this is as good as it gets within the technology that is currently available, I’d say we’re still perhaps 10 years away from reaching a turning point where everyone will go for the green option.

‘But we’re certainly nudging closer to the day when electric cars – and vans – will become a credible fleet option.’

Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for 14 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. Natalie works across the magazine portfolio and updates the company websites with daily news, interviews and road test content.

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