We have already seen some automotive manufacturers developing and marketing electric vehicles across the world, however these are generally for personal use, meaning that the commercial vehicle sector is far behind when it comes to adapting vehicles with the new technology. However, electric vehicles could benefit fleet managers as they are extremely cheap to run and therefore can save companies a large amount of money, and even enable them to expand their services.
This is why Tata Technologies has recently developed a compact electric commercial vehicle which is around the size of a Fiat 500 or a Chevrolet Spark, and will be of use to companies that offer delivery services especially in built-up urban areas. The new vehicle has been named the eMO-C and is largely based on the company’s previous electric vehicle called the eMo – so much so that seventy per cent of the eMO-C has been carried over from the original vehicle. When building the eMo-C, developers removed the passenger and rear seats from the eMo, and also installed a flat-load floor and a rear hatch that lifts and slides on top of the roof.
Even though the eMO-C is small, engineers claim that it will still be able to carry an eight foot ladder, meaning that the vehicle would be perfect for tradesmen, as well those in the delivery industries such as the Postal Service, Fed-Ex or pizza delivery. Research carried out by Tata Technologies has shown that currently it costs the Postal Service 22.4 cents a mile to operate each vehicle, where an eMO-C would cost just 1.6 cents per mile. Even though there are a few competitors in this market – noticeably Ford’s new vehicle the Transit Connect – none can offer the same amount of savings as the eMo-C as the company has found that even the Transit Connect costs around 15.3 cents per mile to operate.
Discussing the introduction of electric vehicles into commercial fleets, Stephanie Brinley from EMC Strategic Communications said: “It’s a feasible idea. Price is huge for commercial vehicles. A side benefit is that consumers, through their jobs, get to experience EV technology.” Fleet providers in the future may start investing heavily in electric commercial vehicles in order to save money, along with other measures such as looking for cheap van insurance providers that can offer the services needed to maintain the vehicles and keep up with new technology.