EST video showcases benefits of EVs for fleets

The Energy Saving Trust (EST) has produced a new video to highlight to fleets the benefits of adopting electric vehicles. Available here, the video follows on from the success of the Plugged-in Fleets Initiative (PIFI) run by the EST and also covers the latest Plugged-in Fleets Initiative 100 scheme. The original Plugged-in Fleets Initiative (PIFI), which was funded by Transport for London (TfL) and the Department for Transport (DfT), was run last year to demonstrate how public and private sector organisations in the UK could significantly reduce fuel costs and carbon emissions by integrating pure electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles into their fleets. A total of 61% of the organisations that the EST worked with last year on PIFI have stated they have or intend to acquire plug-in vehicles, with the majority of organisations realising the benefits if they’re prepared to upgrade their fleets. One of…

FTA launches weather warning system for fleet managers

With weather reports of snow and ice on the way, the FTA (Freight Transport Association) is offering up-to-date information on traffic and weather conditions that might affect transport operators. FTA’s traffic service operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week, providing vital amber and red winter weather alerts. Daily updates give information on UK road traffic and weather conditions affecting freight operations, with additional alerts on severe incidents. There are also advance warnings of any severe weather forecasts issued by the Met Office. Further information is available on the FTA website . The FTA website also contains advice for managers and drivers on dealing with poor weather conditions, such as the importance of operators ensuring vehicles are properly kitted out for wintry conditions. For delivery fleets, when conditions are severe operators should consider contacting customers to discuss delivery expectations and prioritise to keep fleet…

All-new MINI targets fleets with 92g/km CO2 emissions

The new MINI hatch will use three-cylinder petrol and diesel engines with range-lowest CO2 emissions of 92g/km, but the manufacturer isn’t confirming electric or hybrid versions as yet. Unveiled on the birthday of Alec Issigonis, at the factory in Cowley near Oxford where all MINIs except the Paceman and Countryman are built, the new car uses no parts from its predecessor and introduces a modular platform and engine range. Order books are already open, with deliveries due from March 2014, and residual values are indicated to be over 50% after three years and 60,000 miles. At launch, the range will comprise Cooper, Cooper S and Cooper D versions, with further models rumoured to be announced in the near future. For the first time, all engines are developed and built in-house by the BMW Group at its Hams Hall plant in the Midlands, and aren’t…

‘My Electric Avenue’ community electric car trials are underway

The £9m My Electric Avenue project, hosted by Scottish and Southern Energy Power Distribution (SSEPD), and led by EA Technology, is testing the impact of electric vehicles on the local electricity network. The project has announced the communities that have been successful in applying to take part in its ‘Technical Trials’, and unveil details of the next stage of customer-based research, the ‘Social Trials’. Almost 2,000 registrations for the Technical Trials were received in the first six months of the project, with the successful communities coming from Chiswick, Marlow, South Gosforth, South Shields, Wylam, Chineham and Whiteley. That’s seven clusters, of ten people in each, which means that the targets set for the project by Ofgem have been achieved four months ahead of schedule. Due to this great progress, Ofgem has agreed to early release of project funding, which means that these clusters can…

Nissan launch new Qashqai

Nissan has unveiled its new Qashqai crossover model, with improved efficiency and a new design. The new model is the replacement for the current model that was launched in 2007, selling more than 2 million across the world, built in the firm’s Sunderland plant. The manufacturer said that the car “appeals to both C-segment drivers looking for additional style, technology and excitement as well as downsizing buyers seeking greater efficiency”. It offers drivers a comprehensive suite of advanced technology features enhancing every aspect of driving. Nissan’s Safety Shield technologies now incorporate Front Collision Avoidance, Driver Attention Support and Traffic Sign Recognition along with several other driver aids, while Intelligent Park Assist takes the stress out of urban manoeuvres. The new Qashqai’s engine range is wider and more efficient than ever. Every engine uses a turbocharger to reduce capacity, emissions and fuel consumption while maintaining…

Fleet managers should order duplicate livery to reduce repair downtime

Post-crash vehicle downtime costs fleets hundreds and even thousands of pounds a day and disrupts business effectiveness, but efficiencies can be significantly improved by ensuring duplicate car and van graphics are stocked by the livery supplier. Frequently, according to Tobin Jenkins, managing director of vehicle graphics and wrapping company Sign Language, vehicle wrapping and livery is the final item to be thought of when getting a vehicle back on the road following a road traffic crash. However, to help improve operating efficiencies for customers, Sign Language analyses their past 12 months’ crash statistics to determine vehicle damage “hotspots” across the fleet. Using the resulting data, a duplicate “repair kit” stock of vehicle wrapping and livery on a panel-by-panel basis will then be produced and held by Sign Language. It can then be dispatched to the vehicle repairer for same-day delivery if ordered before 1pm…