EXCLUSIVE by Scottish Energy News (green) motoring correspondent
With a spike in other manufacturers now getting behind 100% electric power, 2017 could be the year of the battery powered vehicle (BPV) according to one of the major automobile manufacturers in the UK.
With driving costs around 85% less than petrol or diesel cars; maintenance around 75% cheaper and free parking and exemption from local ‘congestion’ taxes in some cities – allied to convenient home charging – more consumers are making the switch from ICVs (internal combustion vehicles) to BPVs.
Nissan’s all-electric BPV range, comprising the LEAF and e-NV200 small van, are continuing to dominate their respective segments with strong sales last month.
Customer demand for the LEAF ensured the model remained the UK’s best-selling 100% BPV in November, with a share of 47.3% – up 30.4% on the same month in 2015. The next best-seller was the Tesla Model S with a 19.9% share.
In fact, LEAF sales last month were over double that of last year (+115%), which made it the fastest growing model in the competitive mass-market segment.
Nissan’s e-NV200 also remains the UK’s best-selling electric van, accounting for more than three in four (75.4%) of electric LCV sales in November.
BPV owners are also becoming less concerned over ‘range anxiety’ and are not concerned about driving up high mileages in their vehicles. Owners of the Nissan LEAF travel more than 50 percent further per year (10,307 miles) than the European average for a petrol/diesel vehicle (6,721 miles) and 30 percent further than the UK average (7,900 miles).
Edward Jones, BPV Manager, Nissan Motor GB, said; ‘The economic and environmental benefits of BPV ownership are becoming increasingly attractive to drivers and we’re seeing that convert directly into demand for electric cars.
‘We’re also seeing increased consumer awareness and interest in new technologies entering the market to accompany BPVs, such as Vehicle To Grid (V2G). This system will let users power their homes during peak periods with the remaining charge in their car battery, then recharge their BPV using cheaper off-peak electricity tariffs – or sell the power back to the grid to generate revenue from their car.
Meanwhile, Tesla has opened a new BPV service centre in Edinburgh – where it already has high-street showroom – and has opened a new eight-bay battery-charger station in Dundee, opening up routes from Glasgow and Edinburgh to Aberdeen and the Highlands.