As we edge closer towards the introduction of clean air and low emission zones companies around the world are working hard to come up with alternative fuel sources. There has been progress made on this since the turn of the century, recently we have seen the introduction of new better electric vehicles nearly every year with some of the most popular vehicles such as Volkswagen Crafters and Mercedes Sprinters being made available to order. However, it is important that these alternative fuel sources are compatible for a range of circumstances, matching requirements for everyday use vehicles as well as heavy goods logistics vehicles.
Fully electric vehicles still have large progress to make before people consider these viable alternatives to their existing cars, arguably the most well-known manufacturer of fully electric vehicles Tesla was founded in 2003 and introduced their first car to the market in 2008 which was the Roadster. Tesla are designed to be considered as the ‘supercar’ of the electric vehicle world, meaning like most other fully electric vehicles they are not affordable for the majority of people which is a common problem.
That is one of the major issues concerning electric vehicles at the moment, operators cannot afford to have the extra expenditure to upgrade their fleet. Basic electric vehicles only have a capacity to do around 100 miles on a single charge, meaning their operations and deliveries would be interrupted regularly to charge their vehicle. There are batteries on the market that can complete more miles per charge but they do cost significantly more, making them unrealistic for most companies until a cost-effective battery is introduced to the wider market. Most operators will be able to accept paying a premium as their other operating costs are reduced such as petrol and tax. However, the current market prices are still considered excessive in comparison to the savings made.
Manufacturers are also working towards other fuel-efficient solutions as an alternative to electric vehicles. A range of gasses less harmful than diesel are being tested to asses their suitability, these have the potential to provide a more cost-effective solution to some of the short-term problems that operators are facing. However, as of yet these alternative fuel engines are not as advanced as electric ones, we could see accelerated progression in this field though with the introduction of clean air zones looming.
While the latest electric vehicles may still not be considered viable options for transport operators progress has been made over recent years, if this progress continues it should not be long before we see an affordable fully electric vehicle introduced to the market.