Van suppliers report shift in electric vehicle perception

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Van suppliers are reporting a shift in customer perception of electric vehicles as some become established on the market, while others prepare for 2011 launches.

Geoff Allison, managing director of Smith Electric, which supplies converted electric Ford Transits, says potential customers are asking the operational questions about electric vans that they weren’t asking a couple of years ago.

“We’ve noticed a big shift in the last six months. Having vehicles out on the road doing real-world work is helping demonstrate that the technology works.”
Smith Electric has more than 100 Transits places with high-profile fleets including 50 with Sainsbury’s for home deliveries.

“All of those operate within the M25,” said Allison, “All covering about 60 miles a day.”
He added that the refrigeration system has only a small impact on range because it worked on a thermostat and wasn’t running constantly.

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