Cenex, the UK’s national center of excellence for low-carbon and fuel-cell technologies, has committed a “six-figure sum” to support Modec, which designs, develops and produces electric commercial vehicles, at the launch of its new innovative electric van range.
Cenex will work with ING to provide funding in the form of “upfront” leasing support for three existing commercial vehicle franchise holders. These dealers will each take four vehicles (standard, box, tipper and refrigerated) together with infrastructure support equipment.
Part of the Cenex investment will be recoverable from the resale of vehicles in year two and the passover of capital equipment to the dealer.
This is a pioneering initiative which will pump prime the emerging market for electric vehicles and thereby support the UK’s automotive supply chain investing in low carbon vehicle technologies. Cenex looks forward to working with Modec and many customer fleets interested to operate electric commercial vehicles in the UK. This pilot will help validate the proposition that the low carbon vehicle technologies can meet or exceed customer’s operational requirements whilst simultaneously delivering big gains in environmental performance.
We will be working through the Low Carbon and Fuel Cell Technology Knowledge Transfer Network (KTN) to disseminate the results of the field trials to actively encourage fleet operators to include electric vehicles in their fleet renewal plans, as a step on the road to sustainable mobility.—Robert Evans, CEO of Cenex
Modec unveiled its all-electric light commercial van in 2006. On a single charge, the Modec van offers a range of more than 100 miles and a top speed of 50 mph carrying a load of up to two tonnes. The 70kW motor (102hp) develops 300Nm of torque. (Earlier post.)
Cenex’ involvement comprises three key elements:
The establishment of a joint project team to evaluate Dealer and User experience in London, using the KTN to publish relevant reports.
Cenex will become an official “observer” of the fleet trials of vehicles purchased by Modec’s first customers.
In collaboration with ING and other funders, the establishment of an electric vehicle leasing experts’ panel in conjunction with Residual Value (RV) experts CAP. This will help speed up the process of establishing stable RVs for the Modec vehicles and thereby facilitate the market for leasing new electric vehicles, as well as the second hand market.
The announcement of the agreement comes in the week that Modec officially opens its new factory in Coventry, which occupies a 25,000 sq ft facility with a two shift capacity to produce close to 5,000 vehicles a year.
Cenex is already supporting a project for electric smart cars involving Zytek, which is a supply chain supplier to Modec.
Cenex is the UK’s first Centre of Excellence for low carbon and fuel cell technologies. Cenex is an initiative funded by UK Department of Trade and Industry and led by a core group of member organizations, representing the broad cross-section of UK industry investing in low carbon and fuel cell technologies. Members include Air Products, Caterpillar, Johnson Matthey, Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership, Millbrook, MIRA, Ricardo, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), TRW Conekt and the UK Petroleum Industries Association.
Cenex is manager of the newly formed Low Carbon and Fuel Cell Technology Knowledge Transfer Network.