News that the Government is to introduce an £8,000 plug-in grant for electric vans is yet another good reason for fleet decision makers to visit this year’s EV & Low CO2 Fleet Show at Silverstone in April.


A complete line-up of electric vans will be available for driving around the world-famous racing circuit and on the open roads around Silverstone, while experts representing all aspects of the van market will be on hand to discuss the merits and attractions of electric vans for fleet operators.

Visitors to the Show, which is being sponsored by the Energy Saving Trust and is at Silverstone on Wednesday 18th April, will also be able to listen to a presentation from construction specialists, Willmott Dixon Group, on their progress in “de-carbonising” their business through the adoption of a wide range of low-emission strategies for their light commercial fleets.

And for those who wish to plan a low-CO2 future for their own organisation, there is the opportunity to discuss a whole range of carbon reduction strategies with experts from Cenex – the UK’s first Centre of Excellence for low carbon and fuel cell technologies.

Commercial vehicles available for test driving will include both the new Edison and Newton models from Smith Electric Vehicles, plus Renault’s 100% electric Kangoo Van Z.E. which, the manufacturer claims, can be more economical to run than a diesel powered van when the plug-in van grant is taken into account.

Event organiser and Fleet World managing editor, Ross Durkin, said: “It’s great news that we will have a number of electric vans that visitors can drive at this year’s show.

“However, we all know that van operators must be persuaded that a new vehicle will fit into their operation in every conceivable way. So the fact that we will have a range of experts on hand to discuss these topics will make it a really worthwhile experience for fleet managers who want to hear all sides of the argument before making a decision.

“The Willmott Dixon presentation will illuminate some really innovative thinking where emissions reduction is concerned. Those who prefer a slightly simpler message can reflect on the fact that fewer emissions equal less fuel equals lower costs. Sometimes what’s needed is a catalyst to stimulate change and we hope the show will provide it,” added Durkin.

The EV & Low CO2 Fleet Show is being organised in association with the British Vehicle Rental & Leasing Association, the trade association of the UK’s leasing and rental industries.

The show will be based in the new state-of-the-art Silverstone Wing conference and event facility, situated in the heart of the Grand Prix Circuit, and boasting two exhibition halls, a conference hall, banqueting facilities and the latest technical and AV equipment.

The EV & Low CO2 Fleet Show will allow visitors to:

  • Test drive the latest petrol-electric hybrids, diesel-electric hybrids, fuel-cell hybrids and electric range-extenders, as well as the latest low-emission petrol and diesel engine vehicles
  • Discuss future drivetrain strategies with leading motor manufacturers
  • Find out more about low-emission light commercial vehicles
  • Talk to charging point suppliers and recharging infrastructure providers
  • Discuss low-carbon vehicle supply with leading leasing suppliers.

The day will also include an interesting and informative seminar session presented by leading academics and top company executives. Full details will be announced nearer the event.

There will also be a Question Time-style debate sponsored by Venson Automotive Solutions and chaired by BVRLA Chief Executive, John Lewis, at which fleet decision makers can discuss some of the topics presented earlier in the day.

All test-driving of electric, hybrid and other low-CO2 vehicles will include two or three laps of the Stowe Circuit, a separate infield circuit with its own facilities, and there will be provision for visitors to book provisional test drives in advance directly with the relevant motor manufacturer.