SAIC targets European fleet sales for electric van

By Dave Leggett | 4 October 2017

Maxus EV80

Maxus EV80

SAIC Mobility Europe, a newly established European operation of China's SAIC, is targeting the European light commercial vehicle fleet sector with its electric panel van - the Maxus EV80.

The company says the Maxus EV80 has been introduced to the fleet sector in selected western European markets ahead of its full launch in 2019.

Sales of the panel van have started in France, Germany, Austria and Benelux. The company says the Maxus EV80 is the first fully electric van in its class to hit roads in Europe.

SAIC Mobility Europe has been formally established in Luxembourg and is 'responsible for managing the introduction of SAIC brands, products and services into European markets in the coming years, including Maxus light commercial vehicles and MG passenger cars'.

The Maxus EV80 is being made available to over 200 major fleet operators in Europe, the company says. It says demand for fully electric light commercial vehicles in Europe is set to rise significantly as many cities across the continent implement strategies to significantly reduce air pollution and traffic congestion. This is increasingly resulting in the imposition of severe restrictions or financial charges on conventionally-powered vehicles entering low- or zero-emissions zones.

In addition, SAIC says there is a growing trend for businesses to seek to reduce their carbon footprint and to use this as a point of competitive advantage in their business and marketing strategies.

The Maxus EV80 and is available as a panel van and a chassis cab. SAIC says it has a range of 200km on a full charge and a charging time of just two hours. Maxus offers a three-year bumper-to-bumper warranty, and a battery warranty of five years or 100,000 km.

Pieter Gabriëls, Managing Director of SAIC Mobility Europe, said: "With strict emissions regulations being introduced in cities across Europe, the appeal of fully electric commercial vehicles is set to increase. With a 200km real-life range, zero exhaust emissions and short charging time, the Maxus EV80 is ideal for a large number of businesses that operate in urban environments. Introducing the first fully electric large van in Europe is one example of how China's mobility industry is increasingly leading the way in electric mobility of all kinds."

German fleet operator, Maske Fleet GmbH, is the first to offer the Maxus EV80 to fleet customers. It is offering these large panel vans from its sites across Germany and Austria.

Gabriëls added: "By working with fleet mobility providers like Maske we can put evidence on the table from real-world use. We will be monitoring users' experiences with the vehicle to ensure we are thoroughly prepared for the brand's full launch in 2019."

Andreas Maske, CEO of Maske Fleet GmbH, said: "As the most relevant provider of cargo mobility in German and Austrian cities, we have a responsibility to integrate more environmentally efficient vehicles into our fleets, and many of our fleet customers are seeking ways to operate with a lower carbon footprint. For many clients, not only are electric vans as viable as traditional vans, but they also are more cost efficient, too. We're very pleased to be the first rental business in Europe to offer a professional electric van to our customers."

SAIC also says the MG passenger car brand is "on track to begin an exciting new chapter when it is re-launched in Europe in 2019 by SAIC Mobility Europe". The launch of a new model family in Europe 'will target younger consumers in both its design approach and the implementation of advanced new energy and connectivity technologies'.