Electric buses today, electric vans tomorrow?

Since we founded St Albans Car and Van Hire in 1975 we've seen a lot of development in the world, and it seems it's now changing faster than ever. By the end of this month Milton Keynes will be trialling Electric buses on the Number 7 route... though we've not heard plans of St Albans doing the same for the 304 or 620 buses!

It's amazing to think how much technology has improved vehicles. Many of our hire vehicles feature power assisted steering and ABS, two technological advances that have radically improved the driving experience within our lifetime... but it's increasingly looking as though many of us will live to see a generation of electric vehicles on the roads.

Car manufacturers have been selling hybrid vehicles for years, and they're improving with every generation – but the idea of a non-hybrid-electric engine still has some issues.

Milton Keynes are overcoming the issue of not being able to carry large enough batteries to power the bus for the whole day through the novel use of installing induction charging plates in the road surface. As clever as that sounds, the vehicle does have to park and lower a docking plate... so we're not sure this is really any easier than just plugging it into a socket!

With buses leading the way, it doesn't seem like it'll be too long before vans and lorries become a commercial reality – but unless induction charging plates become common features on motorways or battery capacity increases further, we're fairly confident that our fleet of Ford Fiesta, Focus, Mondeo, Transit and Iveco vehicles will remain the best choice for vehicle hire for quite some time.

Would you like to see electric buses on the streets of St Albans? Let us know your thoughts on Twitter @stalbansvan

Posted on January 10th 2014

Loading... Updating page...