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The Future of Fleet

By / 5 years ago / Features / No Comments

Chevrolet Spark EV

Type: Battery-electric vehicle

Why it’s important: The Spark EV will be Chevrolet’s first pure electric vehicle when it launches in selected European markets during 2014. Some 75% of its drivetrain components are shared with other GM vehicles and, unusually, its lithium-ion battery can be repeatedly fast-charged each day, which takes 20 minutes. Chevrolet hasn’t released any sales information, but North American pricing hints that it could be under £20,000 before government grants.  If so, it could prove an affordable rival to the ZOE.

Audi A3 e-tron

Type: Plug-in hybrid

Why it’s important: Audi is the first Volkswagen Group brand to reveal a hybrid based on its MQB modular platform, so while the A3 e-tron isn’t a production car, it gives a hint of what can be expected from the manufacturer, and its siblings, in the near future. An electric range of 31 miles at up to 81mph will allow most commuting to be done without using the 1.4 TFSI petrol engine, while fuel efficiency of 188mpg and CO2 emissions of 35g/km should keep running costs down too.

Lexus IS 300h

Type: Petrol-electric hybrid

Why it’s important: A focus on hybrid technology has traditionally been a bit of a handicap for Lexus's larger models in fleet, but it is hoping to offer a financially viable diesel rival with its 99g/km part-electric IS. Claimed to have been engineered for an engaging drive, this striking compact executive car will undercut its most efficient diesel-powered rivals on CO2 and fuel efficiency, while offering more power and at a similar price. Predicted volumes are comparatively small against the Germans, but it should transform the carmaker's footprint in the fleet sector.

Mitsubishi Concept GR-HEV

Type: Diesel-electric hybrid

Why it’s important: Mitsubishi has a target of 20% electrified vehicle productionby 2020, and with a large share of its UK volume taken up by pickup trucks, it’s inevitable that future generations of the L200 will play a part. This concept car is said to closely resemble the next L200, and offers four-wheel drive capability and a one-tonne capacity from its torquey 2.5-litre diesel engine and electric motor, while emitting less than 149g/km CO2 – considerably less than the segment average.

Volkswagen e-Co-Motion

Type: Battery-electric vehicle

Why it’s important: Shorter than a Caddy Maxi, but with a larger load area and smaller turning circle, the e-Co-Motion is a vision of some of the features Volkswagen is likely to use in its next generation of light commercial vehicles. It also uses an electric drivetrain, which allows the carmaker to offer numerous battery options with different ranges, depending on customer requirements.  A maximum range of up to 125 miles could also be supported by inner-city charging infrastructure, the manufacturer said.

Alex Grant

Trained on Cardiff University’s renowned Postgraduate Diploma in Motor Magazine Journalism, Alex is an award-winning motoring journalist with ten years’ experience across B2B and consumer titles. A life-long car enthusiast with a fascination for new technology and future drivetrains, he joined Fleet World in April 2011, contributing across the magazine and website portfolio and editing the EV Fleet World Website.

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