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2014 to be a tipping point for used electric vans, says Manheim

James Davis, head of commercial vehicles at Manheim, said the launch of the Nissan e-NV200 in June could be a significant moment for the still small electric van market, helping encourage dealer and charging network support. A large volume order from a big PLC would also help establish a supply of used examples, he believes.

Demand for electric vans has, so far, been slow. Figures from the Department for Transport showed only 404 applications for its Plug-in Van grant, which offers £8,000 or up to 20% off the price of an eligible van, between the launch in February 2012 and the 31st December 2013.

Davis said the volumes so far have been driven by marketing budgets of large PLCs, aiming to satisfy green agendas, while used buyers often have a smaller budget and have to add up the price premium against running costs.

Traders, meanwhile, have shown nervousness about battery longevity and leasing agreements, he explained. However, two Transit vans, converted to hybrid drive by Ashwoods, recently sold at a Manheim auction for 125 and 131% of CAP average, or an additional £2,000 over diesel versions.

‘Diesel will win the day for a long time yet, until LCV running costs and taxes are more closely linked to emissions,’ Davis said. ‘2014 will likely be seen as a tipping point for eVans as the new market volumes grow, so the firm foundations will be laid for the used vehicle marketplace.

‘Manheim is committed to develop and nurture the second life buyer base, supporting dealers prepared to stock something different and service new pockets of demand from specific users who embrace the potential cost savings of eVans.’

The Nissan e-NV200 and Peugeot Partner electric vans will be available for early test drives at the Fleet World Fleet Show, held at Silverstone on the 9th April.

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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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