New rules for plug-in car grant means current crop of plug-in hybrids will be ineligible from November 9; grant for EVs drops by £1,000
Plug-in hybrid cars will no longer be eligible for the Government’s Plug-In Car Grant from November 9 2018, while grants for fully electric cars will be reduced from £4,500 to £3,500 at the same time.
The news comes as the Department for Transport (DfT) and the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) confirmed Category 2 and 3 grants will end in November. That means PHEVs such as the Audi A3 e-tron and Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, which were hitherto eligible for the grant, will no longer be so from 9 November.
In fact, none of the PHEVs currently on sale in the UK is capable of meeting the criteria necessary to qualify for the grant, making it effectively for fully electric cars only.
Category 2 cars emit 50g/km of CO2 or less and can officially travel for 10 to 69 miles on battery power alone; Category 3 cars emit between 50 and 75g/km of CO2 and can travel up to 20 miles on battery power alone. Such cars previously received a grant of £2,500, but this will cease next month.
Category 1 grants will still exist from November 9, but the amount contributed towards their cost by the Government will reduce from £4,500 to £3,500. Cars must be able to travel for 70 miles on battery power alone and emit under 50g/km in order to qualify as a Category 1 car, something no current PHEV can manage.
In a world where fast paced urbanization means that more than 60% or 70% of the population, depending of the region, will live in towns and cities by 2030, moving people is not the only task that needs to be rethought. A new era is also beginning for transporting goods: rapidity, flexibility and reliability are the watchwords of the new requirements for consumers at a time that is also seeing a rapid rise in online purchasing. This is accompanied by ever faster and more accurate delivery times with increasingly strict regulatory constraints in towns and city centers.
Providing sustainable mobility for all, today and tomorrow is Groupe Renault’s credo. To accomplish this, we are committed to offering mobility solutions that meet the needs of the many and staying true to our DNA. Tomorrow’s mobility will be electric, connected, autonomous and shared. This naturally includes the delivery of goods, and in particular what is known as “the last mile”.
Our vision for the future of last-mile delivery builds on our experience of nearly 120 years in the utility vehicle domain and our passion for innovating in order to make our customers’ lives easier. It is nourished by our DNA which places people at the heart of the design of our vehicles. It is also based on our openness to partners, who we work with in an open innovation approach that makes it possible to go further as we explore new horizons.
This is what makes this vision unique. It is articulated around four strong axes:
We believe that urban last mile delivery sector is one of the most important areas to disrupt in order to create a future that is clean, free of un-needed congestion, and efficient.
We believe that commercial delivery is flexible, and that a same platform can be used either in B2B and B2C scenarios.
We believe that delivery of parcels has to be seamless. End users can choose precisely where, when and how to have goods delivered.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, we believe the future of last-mile delivery still has a human touch – someone who remains an essential link in the delivery chain.
Renault’s vision is today illustrated by EZ-PRO, a robo-vehicle concept for last mile urban delivery that includes a concierge, in a robo-vehicle scenario with human touch.
The Felix Project takes delivery of seven all-electric Renault Kangoo Z.E. panel vans
Donation of vehicles strengthens the partnership between Renault UK and the London-based food charity
New Renaults will allow the Felix Project to grow its collection and distribution operation significantly
The Felix Project’s central London operation fleet will now be 100 per cent electric
Zero tailpipe emissions, ease-of-use and size make the Kangoo Z.E ideal for the charity’s London routes
Renault Kangoo Z.E. is priced from £14,799, excluding VAT, after the Plug-in Van Grant
Renault UK is growing its support of the London-based Felix Project with the donation of a further seven all-electric Renault Kangoo Z.E. panel vans. This will allow the charity to expand its operation to provide the capital’s most disadvantaged inhabitants with fresh food.
The development strengthens the partnership between the manufacturer and The Felix Project, which was established in November 2017 with the initial donation of a single Kangoo Z.E.
The additional vans will grow the charity’s fleet by more than 50%, enabling it to significantly increase the 20 tonnes of food they currently deliver each week. This is food which is fresh yet cannot be sold for a number of reasons, that they collect from supermarkets, wholesalers and other suppliers, and distribute free of charge to around 200 charities and schools throughout London. In turn, these organisations then provide meals, snacks or food parcels to those in need, including elderly or homeless people, struggling families, those with mental health issues, refugees and asylum seekers.
All of the vans will initially be based at the Felix Project’s central London operation. Vehicles that are already in-use in the depot will be allocated to the charity’s other sites with the result that the central operation’s distribution and collection service will be 100 per cent electric.
The constant stop/start for collections and drops, average journey lengths and the demanding nature of driving in the capital mean that the Kangoo Z.E. is the perfect vehicle for the Felix Project. Immensely easy to drive with users not having to worry about gear changes and enjoying instant response from the advanced drivetrain, the van is ideal for negotiating the city’s traffic, while also returning a significant saving on fuel costs and being exempt from the London Congestion Charge.
The ease-of-use is especially important to The Felix Project as the latest vans will not be assigned to one driver, but used by a variety of volunteers on evening runs into the capital. The Kangoo Z.E.’s payload of 640kg – near identical to that of its diesel counterpart – also makes it exceedingly versatile, the Felix Project’s existing Kangoo Z.E. is able to accommodate 32 crates of food, which is enough to deliver to four primary schools.
The Felix Project was established in early 2016 in memory of Felix Byam Shaw – the son of one of the charity’s founders – who died suddenly from meningitis in 2014. The idea for the charity was born out of Felix’s compassion for fellow youngsters who didn’t have his advantages and, in particular, after he played in a football match and discovered that some of the opposing team of 10-year-old boys from South London hadn’t had anything to eat that day.
Anne Elkins, Development Manager for The Felix Project’s school programme, said
“The new Kangoo Z.E.s will make a big difference to our operation, allowing us to plan more routes and also collect more donations that are made available on an ad hoc basis and which need to be collected in a short time frame. It’s great to have the extra capacity and the support from Renault.
“Our original Kangoo Z.E is a big hit with our drivers due to its manoeuvrability and being so easy to drive. The van really is a great fit for us as it does everything we need and adds another carbon efficient element to our operation’s ethos on protecting the environment by cutting down food waste and ensuring that good, nutritious food isn’t thrown away.”
Vincent Tourette, Managing Director, Groupe Renault UK, said:
“We’re exceptionally pleased to extend our support of The Felix Project. The charity is passionate in what it does and it’s a privilege for us to play a part in helping them to grow their operation and ultimately supply food to those in the capital who are in the most need. With its latest Kangoo Z.E. the Felix Project can extend their reach but also invest the majority of their current fuel and congestion charge costs back into other areas of the business.”
The Kangoo Z.E.33 has a real-world range of 124 miles and has a load capacity of up to 4.6m³, coupled with diesel-rivalling payload of up to 640kg. Together with the enhanced 33kWh battery, the Kangoo Van Z.E.33 benefits from an upgraded charger that reduces charging times and is twice as powerful as its previous one. The single-phase 7kW AC charger can take the new 33kWh battery to a full charge in just six hours, with the ability to ‘top-up’ the vehicle by up to 21 miles in just one hour. The Renault Kangoo Van Z.E.33 is available in a range of body styles, including Kangoo Van Z.E.33, Kangoo Maxi Z.E.33, Kangoo Maxi Crew Van Z.E.33 and Kangoo Maxi Crew Van Cab Z.E.33.
The all-electric Renault ZOE has been updated for 2018, and with it comes a new more powerful 106bhp motor
Verdict: 4 stars – The updates to the Renault ZOE bring a welcome dose of power, while keeping the old car’s usable range. Otherwise, it remains the same spacious, relaxing, all-electric supermini it was before. It’s worth sitting down to do some sums; the ZOE could save you money relative to established petrol or diesel-powered alternatives. Cars it’s more than good enough to be judged against.
There’s definitely more ostentatious electric cars than the Renault ZOE, but few are as successful. The ZOE has been the best-selling EV in Europe three years in a row, and only in 2018 did it slip behind the latest Nissan Leaf. It’s a car that is – quite literally – going quietly about its business.
To keep it fresh, the ZOE gains a range of updates for 2018. The infotainment system gets Android Auto for the first time and there’s a new purple paint finish on the options list. The range has been simplified, as well, with just two trim levels to choose from.
This Dynamique S Nav we’re testing here has all the kit you’d ever need; a seven-inch touchscreen with sat nav, auto headlights and wipers, climate control and rear parking sensors are all standard. The top spec Signature Nav adds leather seats, a Bose hi-fi (a £350 option on the Dynamique S Nav), and a rear parking camera.
The most significant upgrade comes to the motor, which produces 16bhp more than the old one. It’s an increase that is welcome on the move. While Renault quotes a 0-62mph time of 11.9 seconds (an improvement of 1.3 seconds over the old car) – at low speeds it feels much faster than those numbers suggest. The electric motor gives instant throttle response, letting the ZOE launch away from junctions and dart into gaps in traffic.