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Disquiet over CAP position on electric vehicle RVs

CAP’s decision to only provide residual value data for electric vehicles which are sold with batteries included has caused disagreement among the car manufacturers bringing zero emission vehicles to the UK.

In order for vehicles to have residual value data attached to them, CAP insists that the battery must be owned as a part of the car, and not leased.

CAP believes it would be impossible to attribute any residual value to a vehicle which could in theory lack the means to operate.

However, for the manufacturers bringing electric vehicles to the UK from late this year, that decision goes against their current thinking.

A spokesman for Renault, which will be launching two EV models in the middle of next year, and two the year after, said: “In our view the emerging EV sector requires a new way of thinking compared with conventional vehicles.

“CAP has made it clear to us that in order to qualify for the residual value forecast process the battery must be owned as part of the car, not leased separately.

“We are still reviewing a number of battery ownership options in addition to our preferred lease route.

“We still believe that leasing the battery gives our customers the best possible solution.”

Renault intends to sell its EV models without a battery pack at the same price as an equivalent diesel-engined vehicle, once the Government’s £5,000 subsidy is taken into account.

This avoids the problem of exhorbitantly expensive EVs, as Mitsubishi has found with its announcement that the i-MiEV city car will cost £38,699 (£33,699 with Government grant).

The i-MiEV is sold with a battery pack as part of the purchase price.

Nissan, Citroen and Peugeot have all yet to make any decisions on what route they will take with battery packs for their electric vehicles.

However, a Peugeot spokesman added that the viable way forward is to lease the batteries, especially as the packs can cost anywhere from £10,000 to £15,000.

CAP’s announcement comes after a major review of the EV sector launched last month. It is designed to pool all the knowledge necessary to help potential owners and operators make informed business decisions about their future risk position in this emerging field.

Mark Norman, of CAP’s EV Review Group said: “It is tempting to assess electric vehicles in the same light as those with conventional engines. Many people in our industry are therefore already writing them off as inferior in terms of convenience and everyday usability for the whole range of purposes for which we currently use road vehicles.

“That kind of dinosaur thinking is short-sighted because it fails to recognise the potential for social, political, taxation and business change which may well bring new ways of using road transport.

“Therefore one of the major challenges in this field is that you are not only trying to forecast vehicle residual values but forecast changes in society too.”

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