Couriers are feeling the crunch of rising fuel prices and with no sign of the costs coming down (inflation rose to 4.5% in April), road transport companies need to find ways to beat the problem.
One idea that the government has been pushing for some time is electric vehicles. Many see them as compact little cars that don’t go especially fast, suited only to Grannies for their mid-week shop. But the reality is quite the opposite. ..
Electric cars can now be picked up for around £10k, in fact there are some small vans available for little more. Typically they take about four hours to charge and from that you should expect to drive 40–50 miles (although some have gone much further with some tweaking), at a maximum speed of 50mph.
One issue electric vehicle owners suffer from is ‘range anxiety’ – the fear that they will run out of power before reaching a charge point. The Department of Transport is trying to overcome this, they plan to have over 9000 charge points across the country by 2013 and have provided £30m to ‘test’ areas to install them.
Obviously, in their current form they’re not going to be suitable for long distance jobs or delivering large items, but there are certainly gains to be made by courier services who make regular, short city trips.
Currently there are about 3,000 electric cars on the road and experts reckon that figure will shoot up to two million by 2020 – so you’ll certainly be in good company!