I occasionally do the school run and amongst the raft of white 4×4’s, botox and lattes, AFVs (Alternative Fuel Vehicles) have become much more common. At first it was a mad parent with a Renault Twizzy (not very practical!), but that’s upgraded to a BMW i3 or a Tesla Model S. However, more mainstream has been the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV with its promise of a mind blowing energy consumption but with the practicality of having a petrol cap for emergencies.
It’s a changing landscape out there. Battery technology improvements from milk floats of the past through to the customer complaints of a poor range of hybrid options to the whole of the Nevada desert pimped out in battery cells.
At April 2016 AFV’s accounted for 3.3% of the car market and whether we like it or not, they’re here to stay. We’re seeing many more manufacturers displaying new plug-in hybrids over the coming months, with the new Mercedes E Class plug-in hybrid model and the Volkswagen plug-in hybrid version of its Tiguan SUV.
This is just the beginning. We have witnessed the future as “range anxiety” reduces. We have seen this with the Nissan Leaf updating its battery to a 150 mile range, BMW’s i3 to 195 miles and there’s the Tesla Model 3 coming over the hill to take the mid-size executive market by storm; with a promised 210 mile range.
At the moment there’s the appeal of lower tax bands. However, I can’t see this continuing for the future, as the Government is heavily reliant on the tax provided by the current fleet market.
It’s not quite the end for the age of diesel. The popularity of oil burners will continue, provided the range figures remain in excess of 600 to 700 miles after filling up, which compares to AFV’s at around 200 miles.
Nevertheless, AFV’s are the way forward and will continue to get more user friendly, go further on a single charge and provide green motoring (without the need to resort to cheat devices). If we look at the June 2016 SMT registration figures, they are up 21.3% so perhaps we’re all becoming Norwegian in our outlook on the green agenda!