Eco-design and Validation of In-Wheel Concept
for Electric Vehicles

Eunice Project


Unused Electric Vehicle Millions and the Future of Motoring

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As a nation, we are moving away from the expense of gas-guzzling motoring. It simply hasnt made sense in these days of rising fuel prices and economic recession to drive a car that offers a pitiful number of miles per gallon. Weve been buying fuel efficient vehicles so enthusiastically in fact, that the government is worried that were not buying enough fuel, looking to other potential avenues for taxation.

They might be better off reabsorbing a particularly large pile of cash set aside for one fuel-efficiency innovation, however. According to Auto Express, of the 300 million put away for compensating owners of shiny new EVs (Electric Vehicles), only just over 12 million has actually been spent. It would seem that, though were all interested in fuel efficiency, were not yet that fussed about the increased range, emission-less and cheap-to-refill option of electric motoring.

The problem of EV

This is partly because EV technology hasnt quite been perfected yet, of course. A key problem in Greater Manchester (and nationwide) is that there simply arent that many charging points available. Promises of hundreds of charging pods have yet to materialise: charging point maps reveal only five points in the whole of greater Manchester, and the two fast ones are in the care of Nissan (and thus unavailable to anyone who doesnt own a Nissan).

Only 2,400 electric vehicles have been registered in the UK since January 2011, a symptom of both their expense and the wider financial situation. While it may be hoped that a cleaner, cheaper fuel future is ahead, the reality is that not only are individuals and businesses unable to buy an electric vehicle at prices that are often two to three times that of a petrol powered equivalent, they may not actually be buying at all.

A new lease of life

The popularity of vehicle leasing during the recession years has grown immensely, with consumers and business owners looking to websites like for a cheaper way of driving. A car or van lease is a long term rental agreement designed to be cheaper than the finance offered by your local dealership or a bank loan. For two, three or four years, you get exclusive use of the car on a fixed mileage term that covers the predicted depreciation in price of the vehicle.

Unless you opt for the (more expensive) option of contract purchase, the end of these agreements ends with the leasing company repossessing the vehicle and selling it on. While you could potentially make money on second hand sales, many will agree that the extra stress and effort that finding a buyer involves isnt always worth it. Leasing is effortless by comparison: after having determined the mileage you are likely to use annually, and paying an affordable initial deposit, you pay low, fixed monthly payments until the completion of the agreement. After that, youre free to immediately enter another agreement and to continue saving.

Affording cheaper running costs

Leasing also makes the money that you would usually spend on your next vehicle go further. If youve always wanted to own an Audi or a Mercedes but have settled for something a few thousand pounds less, you may find that leasing offers you the chance to drive the car of your dreams. And in the near future, leasing may also offer a pathway to electric motoring. One recent survey claimed that 79.5% of people see cost as the main barrier to entry for alternative fuel vehicles.

Currently, the savings made from using alternative energy vehicles arent perceived to be worth the extra upfront cost. But as soon as they edge towards the price of a typical family car, their leasing price is likely to be more affordable. And the sooner there are more electric vehicles on the road, the sooner we can tackle other problems, like a lack of charging infrastructure. For more information about vehicle leasing please visit

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Union Europea

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Seventh Programme for research, technological
development and demonstration under grant agreement No. 285688

Tecnalia Pinifarina MM CIE Automotive DENN IVL Infineon AIC AIT Maxion Evo CLEPA GKN DRIVELINE ZUMAIA S.A.

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