Fleet firm goes electric

York based Fleet Management Company Autohorn has been awarded ‘Go Ultra Low Company’ status and have taken delivery of a BMW i8, a plug-in hybrid super car, to broaden the choice of electric and hybrid cars they have on offer.

The ‘Go Ultra Low Company’ status is part of a new government and automotive initiative which recognises UK businesses that are embracing electric vehicles and the arrival of the BMW i8 means Autohorn customers are now able to choose from seven different types of electric or hybrid vehicles.

Go Ultra Low exists to help UK organisations and motorists understand the benefits, cost savings and capabilities of the raft of electric vehicles on the market. The award is in recognition of Autohorn having already opened its vehicle fleets to plug-in cars and vans and making a commitment to boosting their intake over the next five years. Autohorn aim to have 100 electric vehicles in their fleet by 2020.

The arrival of the BMW i8 sports car means that Autohorn customers can now enjoy a car which offers a supercar performance whilst still remaining environmentally friendly. The i8 is the first sports car with the consumption and emission values of a compact car thanks to its powerful plug-in hybrid system. The electric drive is combined with a TwinPower Turbo 1.5 litre three-cylinder petrol engine allowing the car to accelerate from 0 to 62mph in 4.4 seconds.

In November last year, Autohorn became the first car rental company in York to have pure electric vehicles for hire when they took delivery of ten Mercedes Benz vehicles having already introduced plug-in hybrid vehicles to the fleet in 2014. Autohorn also has seven of its own electric charging points in the city, contributing to the further expansion of the network of UK charging stations.

The ‘Go Ultra Low Company’ status and i8 arrival has cemented Autohorn’s ongoing commitment to reducing emissions and the environmental footprint.  Scott Jenkins, Sales & Operations Director, Autohorn said: “Offering our customers ‘green vehicle hire solutions’ have been a large part of our business for a number of years now so it’s great to have been awarded the ‘Go Ultra Low Company’ status. The arrival of the i8 has coincided nicely with receiving the award and together they have taken our ‘green’ commitment to the next level. We offer our customers a superior service and being able to offer them the i8, which uses world leading technology, aligns itself perfectly with that.”

Lee Underwood, Managing Director said: “These recent developments are part of our ongoing plan to help York become an ultra-low emission city. We are dedicated to reducing the carbon footprint surrounding the city and will continue to advocate and facilitate the use of low emission technology to help to create a healthier environment for the people of York.”

Poppy Welch, Head of Go Ultra Low, said: “We want to encourage every business in the UK to follow the example set by Autohorn in offering electric vehicles. Not only can they promote cleaner motoring, but there are multiple short- and long-term financial benefits for companies and their employees to enjoy. Thanks to the variety of models available and their cost-saving potential, this is a realistic and rewarding option for businesses large and small.”

Transport Minister Andrew Jones said: “It’s great to see a growing number of British fleets going green and I would encourage other businesses to learn from these Go Ultra Low companies and benefit from the huge fuel and tax savings offered by electric vehicles.

“The UK is a world leader in the uptake of low emission vehicles and our long-term economic plan is investing £600 million by 2020 to improve air quality, create jobs and achieve our goal of every new car and van in the UK being ultra-low emission by 2040.”

Autohorn specialises in fleet management for companies that run fleets of vehicles. Its services include vehicle hire, vehicle leasing, flexible leasing, fuel management, driver training and accident management which it offers throughout the UK.  It also provides personal vehicle leasing under its 1st Car Leasing brand and offers vehicle rental from its Europcar franchise which is based at York Railway Station.