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Electric carmaker eyes 500 sales next year

Stevens Vehicles, a new British electric car maker, is looking to appoint 10 dealerships in the next year.

Founded by automotive engineering professor of manufacturing and design Tony Stevens and his son Peter, a banker, Stevens Vehicles is in talks with four unidentified car retailers.

Sites are likely to be located in London and other traffic-congested city locations.

There has also been considerable interest in south Wales as Stevens Vehicles is based in Port Talbot.

The two vehicle line-up consists of a £12,000 five-seater called Zecar and a £15,000 van called Zevan.

Both will reach 56mph and have a range of 56 miles.

They can achieve 0-40mph in 15 seconds.

Peter Stevens said dealer return on sales would be between 12% and 20%.

“They will be aimed at people with urban lifestyles or local delivery businesses – anyone from the local grocer, florist or courier to national companies like Royal Mail and BT who have large fleets,” he added.

Marketing will be mostly web-based.

“Making sure we are at the top of Google searches is important,” said Stevens.

“We are not going to spend millions of pounds on advertising, it does not make financial sense, especially when we are getting press coverage.”

While reluctant to discuss production or sales figures, Stevens expects its products to be “a lot more successful than similar vehicles in the marketplace”.

He expects to sell at least 500 vehicles in 2009 and “much more than that in another 18 months”.

“The capacity for electric vehicles should grow,” said Stevens. “We could sell up to 10,000 per year. But I can’t imagine growing more than that figure.”

Both vehicles have a two-year unlimited mileage warranty, and charge from mains electricity, running costs are 1-2p per mile.

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