My Electric Avenue project gets the green light from Ofgem

My Electric Avenue, an innovative project that aims to provide a solution to the potential impact that the recharging of electric vehicles (EVs) may have on the local electricity network, is now officially underway following final sign-off by Ofgem of the Customer Engagement Plan and Data Protection Strategy. As sales of electric vehicles increase, there is a need to assess the potential impact that a cluster of EVs may have in a local area served by one electricity substation. In the event of all EVs being recharged at the same time, and without any preparation, the load on the local electricity network may exceed the substation capacity. My Electric Avenue is an exciting project which promises to deliver real, significant benefits on both commercial and technical levels through the engagement of customers, DNOs, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and companies new to the electricity…

10 minute company car check could save you £1,000s

Fleet managers could save thousands of pounds per year by taking 10 minutes to check the external condition of leased vehicles before they are due to be returned. The cosmetic vehicle repair specialist advises developing an internal lease return inspection protocol. This should involve inspecting bumpers, alloys and paintwork for scuffs, bumps and scratches a few weeks before the official end of lease inspection is due. According to industry figures, 27% of returned vehicles incur a fair wear and tear recharge. This is generally because damage has been left untouched or not repaired to a high enough standard. Large fleets could quickly realise significant savings by checking vehicles and organising appropriate repairs themselves through accredited SMART repairers or bodyshops. Revive advises fleet managers to follow these five ‘10-minute check-up’ tips: Ensure the vehicle is clean and dry: dirt and wet can mask scratches and…

Company car news – The Budget

BVRLA chief executive John Lewis shares his comments on the Budget: New thresholds for company car Benefit-in-Kind tax: “This decision to rethink the benefit-in-kind thresholds on low-emission company cars will ensure they remain an attractive proposition for drivers. “The market for plug-in vehicles is growing but confidence in this new technology, particularly the costs involved, remains fragile. This move will reassure thousands of potential drivers.” On 100% FYA’s for ultra-low emission lease cars: “Thousands of businesses, particularly SME’s, rely on leasing to acquire their cars, in many cases because they can’t raise the finance elsewhere. “This decision to remove 100% First-Year Allowances won’t stop them leasing, but it will result in them choosing cheaper cars with higher CO2 emissions. “In effect, the government is hindering the momentum towards greener motoring. We think overall car emissions in the UK could rise as a result over…

Does your grey fleet pass the MOT test?

Thousands of company cars could be facing an MOT failure from today (March 20) as tough new test standards come into effect. The changes aim to establish minimum technical standards across Europe and include basic checks like the steering wheel lock and driver’s seat adjustment, but mostly reflect modern car safety features, for example, tyre pressure monitoring systems, xenon lights, airbags and seatbelt pre-tensioners. Andy Smith, AA patrol of the year, says: “If you’ve been happily ignoring a warning light because it’s not part of the MOT, these changes mean your car could now be on the MOT scrap heap or you’ll need to fork out on expensive repairs. “While it could have expensive consequences for someone running an old car on a tight budget, these changes are long overdue as airbags, for example, have been widely fitted since the mid-nineties. It’s important that…

Cash for crash warning

Cash for crash convictions in two high-profile cases have highlighted the threat fleets face from fraudsters willing to risk the lives of others for financial gain. In what police describe as a landmark case, three men who deliberately caused a car crash that led to another collision in which a woman died were sentenced to 10 years each. It was the first time that somebody had been killed as a result of a crash for cash scam. The fraudsters had been planning to make a personal injury claim in connection with a staged crash on the A40 in Buckinghamshire. Sgt James Upton, from the Thames Valley Police road death investigation team, said: “The crash for cash culture has become more prevalent in our society, but this is the first known fatality as a result of an induced crash.” In the second crash for cash…

Changes to MOT vehicle testing take effect this month

Changes to the MOT for cars and large vehicle tests come into force later this month as new European requirements on roadworthiness take effect. From 20 March 2013, revised European legislation will introduce new requirements to annual vehicle tests to reflect advances in technology. The changes include additional checks for some of the vehicle systems already examined such as brakes, steering, suspension and lighting. These changes will not affect the basic cost of a test. Tests carried out on cars, vans, heavy goods vehicles, buses and coaches will be affected. Vehicle and Operator Services Agency chief executive Alastair Peoples said: “The MOT test is designed to make sure that a vehicle is fit to be on the road and so it needs to be updated to reflect new vehicle technology. “We at VOSA have worked closely with the industry to make sure they are…

Save money while reducing fleet risk, says Brake

Brake, the Road Safety Charity,  is offering a limited number of places for a webinar on saving money through fleet risk management. It is estimated these drivers are 30-40% more likely to be in a crash than people driving on their own time. In Great Britain, 10 people are killed each week and 100 injured in crashes involving people driving for work. Particularly aimed at small and medium-sized enterprises, this Brake webinar will examine the benefits of managing road risk, discussing techniques to help organisations gain the support and engagement of their board in prioritising fleet safety to save lives, money and the environment. Prominent experts and practitioners will lead the webinar, including: Dr Will Murray – Research Director, Interactive Driving Systems Andy Price – Practice Leader – Motor Fleet, Zurich Risk Engineering Rory Morgan – National Logistics General Manager, Iron Mountain Named Brake…