Why Are Fleets Moving Away From Electric & Plug-In Hybrid Cars?

Tuesday, 22. November 2016

Hi, Graham Hill here, thank you so much for visiting my blog, I hope you learn a lot and as a result end up driving a great car. In order to do so you can get all the information you need by buying my book, An Insider Guide To Car Finance or use me to finance your next car. Happy driving.

Are electric cars the way forward? Clearly as far as the environment is concerned of course it is so why are many fleets taking them off their options list and consumers becoming reluctant to buy or lease them? Cost has always been a problem but the costs have been dropping whilst driving ranges increase.

So why are people not only refusing to take electric vehicles but also the plug in hybrids? The answer according to Business Car is charging points. There is still a grave lack of charging points but not only that, early points need to be replaced as many are no longer working and those that are, are simply inefficient or have the wrong connection points fitted.

The Government which was fairly and squarely behind this project has let the industry down according to experts, something that Transport Minister, John Hayes is well aware of. One of the issues that needs to be addressed is the mapping of charge point locations that was to be undertaken by Government. Not only the location but also which charge points were most suitable for which car.

In a survey it was found that only 25% of fleets offered a plug in model to its drivers whilst 69% of drivers said that they would be happy to drive an electric car. John Hayes has agreed to take the issues on board and look into the infrastructure as this is clearly a barrier to EV expansion.

He is also looking into driver education although I would suggest that this isn’t needed as drivers are very much in favour of electric vehicles. So if you are looking into an electric vehicle at the moment it may be worth some extra investigation before taking the plunge. By Graham Hill

How Secure Are The Apps That Control Your Car When Sold On?

Thursday, 25. August 2016

Years ago Ford had a reputation for announcing new models long before they were in a position to launch. As a result pressure was on them to get the car into the marketplace whilst interest was at its highest. Subsequently, anyone who bought the brand new model with lots of new features became Ford’s own testers.

My ex wife became one of them when they brought out a brand new shape Fiesta. It looked great and the Ghia had loads of brand new features. Unfortunately the car spent more time in the local dealers during its first 6 months than in the hands of my ex.

But as newer cars rolled off the production line all of the faults were fixed and eventually my ex ended up with a car without rattles, windows that worked, no oil leaks and a rear window that didn’t drip water onto her shopping every time she operated the rear wash/wipe. Whilst it was irritating there were no health and safety or security issues just minor irritation that got sorted. Scoot forward a few years and you find Apple uses the same principle whenever they have a new iPhone to launch.

Remember the bendy big phone and the phone with the aerial built around the phone that lost the signal if you held it? So it should come as no surprise that when the recent head of steam started to build up around the desirability to have ‘Connected Cars’ that stuff would be released before being fully considered and fully tested. What us cost accountants would refer to as the ‘what if’ considerations. Many manufacturers have rushed to release apps that can be downloaded onto your phone that will remotely connect to your car.

The app will remotely monitor and control the car, locate it and even lock and unlock it. Yes I did just say that. The trouble is that not enough ‘what if’s’ were considered before the products launched leaving the new owner and the car vulnerable when sold. Fleet operator Ogilvie found that they still had access via their apps to a Tesla, BMW i3 and a Nissan Leaf after the cars had been sold although they pointed out that the Nissan could not be stopped or started via the app.

As more manufacturers join Jaguar Land Rover with their inControl, Tesla with MyTesla, Volvo OnCall, Vauxhall’s OnStar and Nissan Connect less attention could be given to security if it meant that the technology could be launched in no time flat. Some manufactures say they will delete the old account once the car is sold and one amazingly said that if they are called by the customer or fleet manager they can disable the App. Really? That sounds pretty secure – not! Tesla said that it is up to the old owner or new owner (or thief) to advise the change of ownership.

To prove the point Fleet News reported one ex Tesla owner able to access his MyTesla account a year after the car was sold. It is only now that leasing companies are discussing the end of lease procedures and a resolution that would see the disabling of apps. As part of the handover process. But what about private owners? Who will instruct those with Connected cars how to protect their privacy and new owners make sure that the previous owner no longer has access to their car. What a mess! By Graham Hill

Latest Update On Electric Vehicles

Friday, 5. August 2016

Electric vehicle sales continue to increase with a constant stream of new developments coming from manufacturers and providers of charging points and batteries. On the downside Electrocity, the providers of rapid charge points at motorway services, have announced a new charging scheme for those using their rapid chargers.

In future they will charge £6 per half hour to charge your car, currently provided for free. Whilst some believe this move to be premature others feel that it won’t affect electric vehicle sales as drivers only tend to use motorway fuel stations as a quick fix, waiting till they are off the motorway to fill up.

The same will apply to electric chargers. At the moment the charging points can be a little congested but by charging for charging (did I just say that) drivers will no doubt plan their journeys better. Another charge point provider, Chargemaster, is developing inductive charging, the same type of wireless connection that is used to boil our kettles. They claim that they can charge up to 10 plus cars at any one time at the workplace.

Mercedes are developing inductive charging for their cars and will be rolling out the first car to have it fitted, the S Class Hybrid, in 2018. The system will then filter down to the cheaper models. Technology giant Qualcomm, who licence the technology to Chargemaster, claim that the next generation of EV’s will have both methods available, inductive and the traditional plug in.

Formula E, the electric car racing series already use inductive charging for their medical and safety cars. So the system is already proven. For those worried about the safety of such devices when say a cat or dog walks onto the pad, that would be placed under the car at home, the unit stops charging and an alert is sent to your smart device.

I still can’t understand why the industry doesn’t standardise batteries with a quick swap facility at battery centres, you pull in, the old battery is slid out with the charge noted, a fully charged battery is slid in and the driver is charged for the difference in charge. Simples. Maybe I should patent this idea! By Graham Hill

An Electric Car Update – Denmark’s Subsidy Is £18,000

Sunday, 16. October 2011

English: A Reva i/G-Wiz charging in London, be...

Image via Wikipedia

We seem to know precious little about electric vehicles which may well be the reason why so few are being sold. It can’t be so much about cost as they are subsidised by the government in order to encourage ownership, or is price the reason? The price of an electric vehicle compared to its equivalent petrol or diesel version is spectacularly high. The Read more

Graham Hill Solves The Electric Car Charging Problem

Tuesday, 9. August 2011

Nissan Leaf electric vehicle and recharging st...

Image via Wikipedia

For some time I’ve been discussing the merits (or otherwise) of electric cars. Are they fit for purpose or not? The problem is really twofold, firstly the very high cost, even allowing for the £5,000 per car subsidy from the Government, and secondly the range, which in most cars isn’t much more than 100 miles. OK make that threefold as Read more

The Real Costs And Dangers Of Electric Cars

Friday, 11. March 2011

BERLIN, GERMANY - MARCH 28:  An electric Smart...

Image by Getty Images via @daylife

Even though we know the Government is hell bent on converting us to electric cars I’m still not convinced. When it was announced that the Government was going to put £5,000 across the bonnet of electric cars to encourage drivers to buy them and Boris was going to put a free electric charging point in every parking bay making it the world’s leading Read more

London Electric Vehicle Capital Of The World – Not Any More

Saturday, 26. February 2011

newride electric vehicle recharging site

Image by velkr0 via Flickr

Big and brash Boris announced in 2009 that London would be the ‘Electric vehicle capital of Europe.’ The aim was to have 25,000 charging points by 2015 which I’m sure caused many manufacturers to sit up and take note believing that the UK was the electrical way forward. Unfortunately that ambitious target has had to be cut somewhat, by 23,700 in fact. Yep, the new figure for installation by 2013 is now down to 1,300. This is a further drop since this time last year when the figure was set at Read more