Electric Vehicle Manufacturer of the Year
presented to the EV manufacturer with the most impressive launch or sales performance over the period.
The Renault Zoe has been an attractive electric model since its launch in 2012. The latest version, the Zoe Z.E. 40, proves more desirable with its larger-capacity 41kWh battery. It offers a 250-mile NEDC range on one charge, which equates to around 186 miles in real-world use. Another development for Renault, is the release of its Kangoo Van Z.E. 33, which has 50 per cent more range than the previous version.
Nissan has been leading the electric vehicle sector since its release of the LEAF in 2010. Further on, its second-generation version was unveiled, designed to offer both a greater range and advanced driver assistance technologies. It offers an improved range of around 235 miles on a single charge and features e-Pedal acceleration and braking control. In 2017, the longer range e-NV200 van was launched, with an increased range of 174 miles on a single charge.
The South Korean manufacturer’s only battery electric vehicle is the Ioniq Electric, which has a official range of 174 miles. Alongside hybrid and plug-in hybrid versions, the Ioniq Electric’s 100 per cent electric powertrain employs a rechargeable 28kWh lithium-ion battery and high voltage electric motor to deliver zero-emission-running.
The zero-emissions EV80 van is now available in the UK and boasts 130 miles on a single charge. Perfect for city journeys, LDV’s all-electric light commercial vehicle is now available in two models: the panel van and chassis cab. The LDV EV80 offers a reliable and smooth driving experience with zero-emissions providing “greener motoring with superior performance in mind.
With 106 miles of range on the NEDC cycle, the E-Berlingo Multispace is based on the Berlingo Electric light commercial, which itself has seen a longer load length ‘L2’ version added to the line-up. The French manufacturer still also has its C-Zero all-electric car on sale, which is powered by a 47kW battery, good for a useful, city-zipping range of around 93 miles.
BMW has established itself as a market leader in electric vehicles, having released its popular all-electric i3 model in 2013. This year a new 33kWh battery was added to the range, and the ‘sportier’ i3s was unveiled. The i3s has an electric range of around 174 miles thanks to its larger 135kW electric motor, and posts a zero to 62mph in around seven seconds. As well as the pure electric i3 models, there is also the range-extended versions.
The success story of the LEAF continues with Nissan shifting over 250,000 units since its introduction in 2010. The unique manufacturing plant in Sunderland, which builds the car for supply to 23 markets, completed the build of its 50,000th LEAF earlier this year. Recent enhancements include the addition of a 30kw battery, which offers a significant 26 percent increase in driving range. As a used market option, Nissan is now offering a 3-year personal contract purchase (PCP) plan for a used Nissan LEAF 24 kilowatt model based around a £175 customer deposit, £175 monthly payments and a £1,000 dealer deposit contribution. This includes free rapid charging, EV Roadside Assistance, a free Home Charging Unit, and a minimum 12-month warranty.
With the introduction of the game changing i3, BMW has established itself as a market leader in electric vehicles. In 2016, a new higher capacity lithium-ion battery was launched which can last 125 miles on one charge. This comes with an 8-year warranty as standard and is embedded deep inside the chassis, giving the BMW i3 a low centre of gravity for better handling. The i3 is manufactured in a purpose built plant in Leipzig, powered by green electricity generated on site by wind turbines. It takes 70 per cent less water and 50 per cent less energy to build than a conventional car. Connective technologies of the iRemote app allow the driver to check power levels and search for charging stations from their smartphone.
Indian manufacturer Mahindra’s first dip into the UK market came earlier this year with the Mahindra e20, seen as the successor to the G-Wiz. Unlike the now somewhat iconic ‘quadricycle’, the e20 is full M1-certified vehicle with two airbags, ABS and ESP as standard, as well as ISOFIX mounts for the rear seats. A 3.9kWh lithium-ion battery powers a 42bhp electric motor which provides a range of 79 miles (and a further eight miles through an emergency ’Revive’ mode). GoinGreen, which supports over 1,000 electric vehicles, is the UK Authorised Service Provider, although sales are carried out online rather than through dealerships. The e20 Plus, a four door version, is planned for launch later this year.
The all electric version of Kia’s striking SUV is powered by 27kWh batteries mounted beneath the car. These are mated to an electric motor which produces the equivalent of 109bhp. Kia claims a range of 130 miles on a single charge, with a 90mph top speed. Where possible, the manufacture has been greened using bio-degradable plastics and plant-based materials in the cabin. Although its sits at the more expensive end of available electrics, it has received plenty of praise for its performance and practicality. Kia’s seven year, 100,000 mile warranty is also an attractive proposition for those looking to go all electric. Earlier this year, the Soul EV was used for ‘Route 57’, a 20 day journey across the UK which stopped at 57 ‘must see’ destinations.
The initial outlay price of the ZOE makes it an attractive proposition for fleets and domestic users alike. One the benefits of its battery lease scheme, which is flexible and starts at around £70 per month, was highlighted earlier this year at the Paris Motor Show when the ZOE was unveiled with a 41kw battery, along with further enhancements to enable a 250 mile range. This new battery can be retrofitted to older models, increasing their range to 200 miles. The futuristic Twizy quadracycle continues to find customers with over 18,000 units sold in Europe alone, and the Kangoo ZE remains the leading zero emissions light commercial on the market.
LDV has returned to the UK with the EV80, an all-electric van that promises a 215-mile range, combined with city-friendly zero local emissions. It packs a 75 KWh lithium-ion phosphate battery and comes in a choice of short and long wheelbase panel van configurations and a custom-built chassis cab option. China’s first all-electric van made its debut at the Commercial Vehicle Show in Birmingham.
The winner of the title in 2015 has helped take electric motoring to the masses. With new improvements to its award-winning car and an ever-expanding line-up that now includes a panel van, a 5 or 7 seater combi version and even a luxurious model too, it is a combination of vehicle sales and perception-changing views that warrant the 2015 Electric Vehicle Manufacturer of the Year title going to Nissan.