28 Nov 18

First ever Fleet Europe EV test drive: quite the buzz

Electric vehicles are at the fleet manager’s doorstep, which is why Fleet Europe organised a test drive showcasing the latest models on the market. From the city-runabout Smart EQ fortwo to the Jaguar I-Pace, from the Silence OMoove e-scooter to the Maxus EV80 panel van, the entire spectrum was represented on the parking lot of the Fairmont Hotel in Avenida Diagonal in Barcelona.

Nearly one hundred prospective international fleet decision makers took the opportunity to get familiar – either as a driver or a passenger – with the EVs that will populate their fleet soon.

Setting the pace

Jaguar brought two I-Paces to the event, both of which were fully booked. Even though it is Jaguar’s very first electric model, the I-Pace is one of the most advanced EVs on the market, offering nearly 500 km of range and clever packaging, i.e. maximum interior space.

One of the absolute showstoppers was the Mercedes EQC, an all-electric premium cross-over based on the GLC giving about 400 km of range. Since the test vehicle was still pre-production, people were only allowed to ride along – but that did not temper their enthusiasm.

The core fleet models

The world’s best-selling EV is well on its way to become a fleet favourite. The second-generation Nissan Leaf no longer emphasizes that it’s electric by its design, but positions itself as a sophisticated C-segment hatchback that happens to be electric.

There is a challenger out there, though: the new Kia e-Niro. It is the only C-segment cross-over out there that can be had as an EV. And not just any EV: the 64-kWh battery ensures a range of nearly 500 km (WLTP).

The Renault Zoé was not the youngest attendant to the EV test drive, but it still heads European sales charts thanks to its revamped battery, improved connectivity and probably the fact that you can choose between buying and leasing the batteries.

If it’s maximum compression and city convenience you are looking for, the revamped Smart EQ fortwo still is the best – and only – option. The NightSky edition adds sophistication and performance to the mix, which has never been more convincing.

The odd ones out

The Chinese Maxus EV80 definitely stood out from the crowd, especially with the eye-catching publicity on its flanks: “100 % electric, 100% available”. That indeed makes it a must-consider for fleets wanting to go electric not tomorrow, but right away.

Toyota provided two shiny new Mirais to the test event – cars that clearly aroused interest amongst both guests and fellow-carmakers. Instead of bulky and heavy batteries, this fuel-cell vehicle carries pressurised hydrogen to create electricity as you go.

Finally, Italian telematics company OMoove joined up with Spanish two and three-wheeler maker Silence to create the first connected sharable e-scooter in the world. A regular driver’s licence suffices to enjoy the quiet and emission-free riding fun – without having to own it.



Authored by: Dieter Quartier