22.2.2012 Details of vans eligible for Plug-in Grant
After confirmation of the Government's Plug-in Van Grant yesterday, several manufacturers released specific details of their eligible models. Among the first to qualify are the Mercedes-Benz Vito E-CELL, the mia electric and Renault's Kangoo Z.E.
To qualify, a van must emit less than 75 g/km CO2, be capable of at least 60 miles between charges and more than 50 mph top speed. It must also conform to 'European Vehicle Type Approval' safety standards.
Slightly different to the offerings of the Plug-in Car Grant, the Plug-ion Van grant offers 20% off the purchase price of eligible models, to a value of up to £8,000.
Mercedes-Benz Vito E-CELL
The Mercedes-Benz Vito E-CELL is powered by 16 Lithium-ion battery modules that have a combined capacity of 36 kWh, producing a maximum range of 80 miles. The electric motor has an output of 60 kW (82hp), with 280 Nm of torque and, taking into consideration the E-CELL's usual area of operation and to facilitate the highest battery range possible, the top speed is limited to 50 mph.
In terms of safety the Vito E-CELL is at the same level as other Vito models, with Electronic Stability Programme (ESP) and dual airbags as standard. The active safety measures also ensure that the high-technology voltage network turns off when the airbag control unit activates.
The mia electric will go on sale in the UK as of May 2012, with three versions available from launch – the short wheelbase mia-U (to retail at £21,000) and to extended m odels, the mia L and mia box van (both which will retail at around £22,000). The standard model weighs just 765 kg (the extended versions weigh 786 kg) which account for the low running costs that mia claim to be around £1.30 per 100 kms.
All three vehicles are powered by an 18 kW electric motor at the rear of the car that gives a top speed of 68 mph. A 120 to 130 km range is available from the 12 kWh battery pack that comes as standard and the lithium iron phosphate batteries can be fully charged in five hours.
This technically sound battery system is exceptionally safe and helps alleviate range anxiety by allowing "no memory effect" charging. This means the battery can be charged for short top-up periods with absolutely no adverse effect to the life of the battery. (e.g. a ten minute charge will give an extra 8km of range).
The standard short wheelbase mia has three seats in total, while the extended mia L has four. Instead of three back seats, as in the mia L, the mia box van features a cargo capacity of 1,500 litres. All three versions have a central driving seat position, which allow the driver to get in or out on both sides.
Renault Kangoo Van Z.E.
Including the 20% grant discount, the Kangoo Z.E. van starts at £13,592 excluding VAT, and is the first 100% electric commercial vehicle produced directly by a mass market manufacturer. All three variants of Renault's Kangoo Van Z.E. are eligible for the new grant, the standard Kangoo Van Z.E., plus the longer wheelbase Maxi and five-seat Maxi Crew Van.
The Kangoo Z.E. has a typical range of up to 106 miles on the New European Driving Cycle (this can vary between 50 and 125 miles depending on several criteria) and costs between £2.50 and £3 for a full charge, according to tariff and supplier, with overnight charging being up to half the cost.
Renault are the first manufacture to sell their electric vehicles with a spate battery leasing plan, meaning that batteries will always be up to date and in proper working order. The battery leasing for the electric Kangoo van is a monthly charge of £60.
All mentioned vans are exempt from London Congestion Charge and qualify for 100% first year capital write-down allowance, plus zero road tax and fuel duty – as they produce zero emissions at the point of use.
The UK's electric vehicle charging network is rapidly developing too, meaning that vehicles can travel around more freely with reduced chance of 'range anxiety' for the driver. To see the location of all of the UK's charging points, see Next Green Car's Zap-Map
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