Lex puts EV claims to test in real-life trial
In its poll of company car drivers, the firm found that one in four (24%) are sceptical about the claimed low running costs of hybrid and electric vehicles.
The leasing company says it's seeking to check out the everyday practicality of electric vehicles by putting a Nissan LEAF through a long-term test.
The car will be used on a daily basis as a pool vehicle for employees to use between two of its main offices, in Manchester and Bury, and will also be available for clients and prospects to drive. This will help them assess the technology prior to considering electric vehicles for their own fleets.
Mark Chessman, head of sustainability and commercial management at Lex Autolease, said: 'Whether EVs will become a mainstream option is dependent on real-life testing in urban town traffic and motorways as well as through hot and cold weather, which may have a major impact on range, performance and cost. If it's proven there is a niche they can work in for the fleet sector, the future looks bright.'
As part of the initiative, charging points have been installed at the two sites and the long-term trial is geared towards giving Lex Autolease first-hand experience of installing recharging points and operating an electric car.
Chris Chandler, principle consultant for Lex Autolease, said: 'As a business we have a strong track record on sustainability and we've purchased the LEAF to further demonstrate our commitment to low-emission vehicles.
‘But, more importantly, it will serve a practical purpose by allowing us to assess issues such as range anxiety, given the variance between different driving styles and driving conditions.'
He added: 'We recognise that it won't be a simple transition from diesel and petrol to electric. We're talking about a niche solution, at the present time, due to the limited range and recharging times. This makes it all the more important that we're in a position to help our clients make informed decisions, now and in the future.’