PHEV availability ‘destroyed’ by WLTP, say leasing companies

Plug-in and hybrid electric vehicles (EVs) accounted for one in 20 cars sold in 2018, with plug-in hybrids increasing by almost 25% year-on-year.

However, problems getting models through the new emissions-testing regime and global demand outstripping supply, suggest that figure could have been higher still. In fact, the pace of growth of plug-in cars in the UK (21.8%) has now fallen significantly behind the EU average of 40%.

UK fleets have faced long factory lead times for some models, with the Hyundai Kona Electric, for example, taking up to 10 months.

Registration figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) also highlight the impact of a reduction in Government incentives.

Plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) registrations were up almost 30% in the first 10 months, but year-on-year increases fell to 3.1% and 8.7% in November and December, respectively, after the plug-in car grant was cut.

While changes to the grant will have played their part in the rate of registrations, leasing companies say long factory lead times have also hampered uptake.

In a survey of dealers serving the top 11 plug-in manufacturers con-ducted by the National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA), availability of product recorded the lowest average satisfaction score. Toyota retailers had the highest rating, just above Mitsubishi, while Peugeot dealers were ranked lowest, followed by Renault.

The UK’s best-selling electric car, the Nissan Leaf, saw monthly leasing values fall by 6.6% between January and November 2018. Monthly prices for the Renault Zoe fell by 16% between June and November.

In the 12 months up to November 2018, the BMW i3 saw leasing prices drop 9.2%, and the Volkswagen e-Golf 14%. Jaguar’s I-Pace saw the smallest price drop, with a fall of only 1.7% since April 2018.

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PSA covers all makes, parts and markets under Distrigo name

PSA Group’s UK parts distribution network Trade Team has announced that they will now able to fulfil parts orders for all customer types, regardless of vehicle make or age, following an official name change to Distrigo Parts Distribution.

The group has expanded to include key markets such as China, Argentina, Brazil and now the UK.

A new website, distrigoparts.co.uk (formerly tradeteam.co.uk), is set goes live this month, and includes the addition of Parts Basket – a feature allowing customers to place their parts orders online through their chosen Distrigo Parts Distributor. Other features will include an all-makes part finder and parts distributor locator.

PSA Group’s trade rewards programme PERKS will continue under Distrigo Parts Distribution.

This development follows on from the launch of the Euro Repar Car Service, which is an all-makes servicing and repair network and the PERKS customer contact programme.

Over the next two years, PSA will be launching some 15 new electric models. There will be a number of plug-in hybrids including the DS 7 Crossback E-Tense 4×4, Peugeot 3008, 508 and 508 SW station wagon, Citroen C3 Aircross and Vauxhall Grandland X, which shares its floorplan architecture with the Peugeot 3008.

Every Peugeot, Citroen and Vauxhall model will have an electric or hybrid option, with these derivatives coming on stream from 2020.

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London startup backed by the Mayor and National Grid launches embedded car charging points

Connected Kerb has launched its first series of electric car charging points fully embedded into the road’s curbside.

Built into Borough Road in Southwark, the launch was supported by Southwark Council, Virgin Media and National Grid. The move comes after the London startup won the Mayor’s Award for Urban Innovation last year.

Users of electric cars will now be able to drive up to public charging bays on Borough Road and plug in to points either built into the curb or inside a lamppost. The firm, which hopes to roll out the technology to the rest of the capital in the near future, said the charging points can also provide information such as environmental and traffic data to public authorities.

Connected Kerb was previously responsible for creating and installing London’s network of 10,000 electronic docking points for the city’s cycle hire scheme. The charging hubs, which also act as ultra-fast wifi points, are made from recycled materials and are powered by renewable energy.

London mayor Sadiq Khan’s new ultra-low emission zone is due to come into effect in April, in which cars and vans which don’t meet tighter exhaust emissions standards will be required to pay a daily charge to travel in inner London.

Additionally, private hire vehicles that do not meet the standards will no longer be exempt from paying the city’s congestion charge. Uber rival Addison Lee commissioned research in October which estimated this will cost companies around £4m a year.

“We’re on the precipice of the electric vehicle revolution; it’s an inevitability,” said Connected Kerb’s operations chief Paul Ayres.

“As electric vehicle ownership increases at pace, the need for a nationwide infrastructure has become critical, and we are delighted that London electric vehicle motorists will be among the first to benefit.”

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